A century by captain Alex Hibbert meant relieved Chesterfield finally found a way of coming out on the right side of a result in the Derbyshire County League’s Premier Division.
After five games without success, they looked set for more of the same when slumping to 35-4 at home to newly-promoted Elvaston. But Hibbert’s masterful 102 off 115 balls helped them recover to a formidable total of 272-8, which secured a winning draw.
To begin with, the skipper struggled to find suitable partners and the score deteriorated further to 99-6, despite 22 from Alex Fowkes. But then Harry Wilmott joined forces for a magnificent partnership of 163, a club record for the seventh wicket, that knocked all the stuffing out of Elvaston.
Hibbert’s superbly-paced three-hour stay at the crease featured two sixes and 11 fours, while Wilmott hit 94 (five sixes and ten fours) in a majestic innings that spanned only 75 balls.
In reply, the visitors made a promising start and reached 126-2 in the hands of Nick Briars (49), Ben Wright (33) and Jake Harrold (28). But then came a catastrophic collapse with seven wickets falling for 59 runs.
Spinners Matt Critchley (4-35 in 12 overs) and Wilmott (3-9 in four overs) held the key for Chesterfield, whose only regret was failing to polish off Elvaston, who held on for a losing draw at 185-9.
This coming Saturday, Hibbert’s troops hope to continue their improved form when Swarkestone visit Queen’s Park.