Captain Bird flies to the rescue for Chesterfield
Captain Mykylo Bird led by example as Chesterfield bounced back from league disappointment on Saturday to register an impressive victory in the cup 24 hours later.
Mid-table Chesterfield could muster only a losing draw against relegation-threatened strugglers Alvaston and Boulton in their latest Derbyshire County League, Premier Division fixture, despite a knock of 63 by Bird.
But it was a different story against top-flight rivals Denby in the league’s Premier Cup as Bird showed off his skills with an awesome innings of 100no to spearhead a four-wicket triumph at Queen’s Park.
Bird’s bowlers also did well to dismiss Denby for 197, especially after the visitors had eased to 96-3 at one stage. Young Tom Bacon led the way with 3-35 from ten fine overs, and there were two wickets apiece for Barney Kirk (2-30 in ten), Michael Deane (2-41 in nine), who removed top scorer Matt Parry (45), and Josh Savage (2-45 in 8.5).
The skipper opened Chesterfield’s reply and thumped three massive sixes and ten fours in carrying his bat. He shared stands of 42 for the first wicket with Minesh Keshwala and 59 for the second wicket with skipper Alex Hubbert (29, four fours), at the end of which the hosts were past halfway to their target.
The Denby bowlers kept chipping away, but leaked 30 extras, and Chesterfield’s winning runs came in the 45th of the allotted 50 overs.
The previous day, Bird’s boys played well for 80 per cent of the match, restricting Alvaston to 205-8, but then inexplicably failed to make the most of a winning position in reply, falling short on 191-7 after Bird’s classy 65-ball innings, which contained 12 boundaries, had steered them to 120-2 at one stage. Hibbert also made 45 (five fours) but, apart from an unbeaten 21 from Savage, support from elsewhere was thin on the ground.
A losing draw was certainly less than Paul Goodwin deserved. He had been the pick of the Chesterfield bowlers with 5-54 from 11 overs and had successfully pegged the home side back after they had reached 126-2 on the back of 66 from opener Matt Gapes.