Higginbottom hits scorching 66

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Chesterfield 1st XI 231-8,

Derbyshire Academy 219

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(Derbyshire Premier Cup)

Chesterfield disposed of the reigning cup holders in a closely contested first round tie at Queen’s Park on Sunday.

Opting to bat first, Chesterfield made steady progress to reach 90-2 before Ben Slater (41) was the first of four wickets to fall in a period when runs were at a premium against an accurate spin attack supported by fielding of an exceptional standard from a youthful Academy side.

At 114-6 with only 16 overs remaining, Chesterfield’s fortunes were revived by an exhilarating innings from fast bowler Matt Higginbottom who blasted his way to 50 off 31 deliveries.

After Higginbottom was out for a scorching 66 fellow fast bowlers Michael Deane (39 not out) and Johny Marsden (17 not out) took Chesterfield on to a respectable 231-8 at the 50 over closure.

The Academy were soon in trouble as Marsden’s fiery opening spell brought him three wickets with only 26 runs scored but Burgoyne proved more resilient. When Burgoyne reached his century his side were just 40 runs short with two wickets in hand and close to four overs remaining.

But Marsden completed an excellent all round performance by capturing the wicket of Burgoyne (101) and the Academy were all out 13 runs short of victory.

Marsden (4-32), Goodwin (2-42) and Higginbottom (2-50) were the main wicket takers as Chesterfield booked a quarter final tie against Quarndon.

Chesterfield 1st XI 193 all out, Swarkestone 1st XI 196-3

(Derbyshire Premier League)

Chesterfield came unstuck against league leaders Swarkestone when required to bat first on a damp pitch that was well exploited by Tom Knight (3-41) and Bruce Dilks (3-56).

At 86-6 Chesterfield were well off the pace but with conditions improving Joe Cooper’s 44 and a rapid 63 from Matt Higginbottom helped to add 79 for the seventh wicket before Alasdair Evans cleaned up the innings to finish with 4-40.

Defending a total of 193 on a more comfortable batting surface against a strong batting side made for a formidable task for Chesterfield and one that eventually proved beyond them as Swarkestone sailed home from 112-3 to a seven wicket win courtesy of Tom Hamilton (92 not out) and Chris Durham (44 not out).

Chesterfield drop a place to fifth and look to get their league campaign back on track when they visit second placed Sandiacre Town on Saturday before the Derbyshire Academy return to Queen’s Park on Sunday for a Premier Challenge match that starts at 11am. Swarkestone 22 points, Chesterfield four points.