Derbyshire take firm control after dominating Leicestershire on day one

Derbyshire enjoyed an outstanding first day with ball and bat in the Bob Willis Trophy match against Leicestershire at the Fischer County Ground, Grace Road.

Saturday, 8th August 2020, 7:17 pm
Luis Reece ended day one on 50 not out as Derbyshire close in on a first innings lead. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

The visitors bowled Leicestershire out for 199 after the Foxes had chosen to bat first before a fine unbroken partnership of 92, compiled off only 17.3 overs, between Luis Reece and Wayne Madsen saw the Peakites close on 101, just 98 runs behind with nine first innings wickets in hand.

It was all the more impressive for the fact that while Leicestershire made just one change from the team which beat Lancashire in their opening fixture, Will Davis coming in for Tom Taylor, injuries and rotation saw Derbyshire make four from the side which pulled off a remarkable win against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. Hughes, Melton, Anuj Dal and first-class debutant Ed Barnes came in for Finn Hudson-Prentice, Matt McKiernan, Michael Cohen and Ben Aitchison.

Paceman Sam Conners make the early breakthrough on a pitch offering both pace and carry, as Ben Slater – formerly of Derbyshire, but currently on loan at Leicestershire from Nottinghamshire – pushed at a length delivery and edged to third slip, where Matt Critchley held the catch.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

At the other end Hassan Azad had one escape, Critchley failing to hold a chance two-handed to his left when Luis Reece found the edge, but there was no reprieve when, having allowed a delivery from Reece to go through to wicket-keeper Harvey Hosein, Azad - who was batting outside his crease – did not step back behind the line. The alert Hosein rolled the ball into the stumps from around 12 yards back to effect a remarkable stumping.

Leicestershire were in a hole at 15-2, and it deepened when captain Colin Ackermann edged an out-swinger from Dustin Melton low to Leus Du Plooy at second slip.

It was as well for the Foxes that Harry Dearden looked in good touch, but with lunch approaching the young left-hander lost another partner as George Rhodes edged a gentle out-swinger from Alex Hughes, and Hosein, standing up to the wicket, took a neat catch. With Rhodes also out his ground, the wicket-keeper completed a 'just in case' stumping.

The key wicket in the afternoon session was that of Dearden, who had hit 12 boundaries as he moved on to 70 before getting a questionable decision in being given out leg before wicket to a delivery from Conners that replays suggested pitched outside leg stump.

Ben Mike looked comfortable before a misjudged leave allowed an inswinging delivery from Melton to clip the top of his off-stump. The Zimbabwean Melton then picked up two wickets in two balls as first Harry Swindells inside edged an attempted drive on to off-stump and then Dieter Klein bottom edged a cut at a wide ball on to his middle stump.

Callum Parkinson, Davis and Chris Wright did their best to drag their side past 200, and earn at least one batting bonus point, but both Parkinson and Davis went the same way, edging defensive pushes at Reece to Hosein.

Wright briefly lifted Leicestershire's spirits with a fine delivery that seamed away to take Billy Godleman's edge and give Azad a waist-high catch at first slip, but Reece and Madsen took full advantage of inconsistent bowling, a fast outfield and a short boundary to score at 5.25 runs per over in taking Derbyshire past 100 before the close.