Chesterfield suffer a first defeat of the season at Ockbrook

Despite a century from captain Alex Hibbert and a club record stand for the fifth wicket, Chesterfield suffered their first defeat of the season at Ockbrook and Borrowash on Saturday.

Monday, 8th May 2017, 1:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:31 pm
Alex Hibbert celebrates his century. Pic by John Windle.

Their chief tormentor was the Ockbrook opener Rahib Ali who smashed an unbeaten 146 not out.

On an overcast and chilly morning Chesterfield were soon in trouble at 59-4, with their vice-captain and two county squad players back in the pavilion.

They were saved by a club record stand of 159 between captain Alex Hibbert and club coach Andrew Parkin-Coates. Hibbert is a left handed batsman in the classical style and he was rarely troubled before he was out for a magnificent 101.

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He played sensibly, building his innings securely and punishing the bad ball. It was good to see Andrew Parkin-Coates (53) get runs as he has made a good start as coach this year and is hugely popular within the club.

Apart from a useful late contribution from Paul Goodwin (19) Chesterfield had not much else to offer but their total of 259-8 was far better than expected earlier in the innings.

They were, nevertheless grateful for the 28 extras given away by the home side.

Chesterfield had a flying start when Josh Savage bowled the dangerous Greg Cork with the first ball of the innings but Ryan Bramwell and Rahib Ali then put on a century partnership before Bramwell was out for 41.

At 100-2 Chesterfield were still in the game but then successive partnerships of 48 and 99 changed that. The relentless run scoring of opening bat Rahib Ali eventually broke the spirit of the Chesterfield bowlers.

His 146 not out was his highest Premier League score and follows his 1,000 runs last season – the fact that he was suffering from cramp for much of the innings made his 56 per cent of the Ockbrook final score of 260-4 even more remarkable.

It was a stunning innings to watch containing 13 fours and seven sixes and worth enduring a very bleak and cold Ockbrook afternoon. The Chesterfield bowlers stuck to their task even though they were missing spinners Brian Gladwin and Matt Critchley, but lacked real penetration. Pick of the bowlers was Andrew Parkin-Coates who took 2-37.

Ockbrook won the match by six wickets, gaining 27 points but were deducted three points for a slow over rate, giving them a net 24 points and Chesterfield seven points. Chesterfield sit seventh in the table and will be keen to win their next match - at home to Marehay on Saturday 13th May at Queen’s Park (12.30pm start).

Marehay have picked up 31 points from their three fixtures in the Derbyshire Premier so far this season. They got a small slice of the cake on Saturday (five points) in a draw with Swarkestone who had posted 315-6 - largely thanks to 134 from Christopher Durham, Garry Park’s 86 and Jake Needham’s 69 - with Marehay showing resilience to hang on for 127-8 from their 50 overs.