Mykylo Bird century secures losing draw for Chesterfield
Cricket returned to the Queen's Park on Saturday with Chesterfield hosting Swarkestone, the side that finished one place above them in the league last season.
The afternoon saw two excellent centuries – by Mykylo Bird for Chesterfield and Garry Park for Swarkestone, in a well contested game which saw the away side gaining a winning draw.
Chesterfield captain, Drage Thompson, won the toss and elected to field.
Two wickets in a good opening spell by Matthew Higginbottom reduced the visitors to 23-2.This brought Alex Hughes and Garry Park together.
Hughes is a member of the current Derbyshire squad and Park is an ex Durham and Derbyshire player who played 47 first class matches.
They produced a partnership of 119 before Hughes went for 62 with the score at 142/3.
This gave the base for Swarkestone and Park in particular to push on. He displayed a full range of shots and ended unbeaten on 116 from 137 balls with his side reaching a big 283/6.
In replying Chesterfield faced an excellent opening spell by Bruce Dilks and Garry Park, the former getting the first three wickets resulting in Chesterfield being 39/3. As damaging as the wickets lost was the tight nature of the bowling which meant that the home side were getting behind the required run rate. Between them the two opening bowlers went for just 39 in 18 overs. Cool heads were required and Mykylo Bird and Harvey Hosein provided that, consolidating with a partnership of 74 before Hosein was out for 38.
Mykylo showed real maturity in continuing his innings with an impressive range of shots. Despite approaching his century he chased runs in order for Chesterfield to gain valuable points despite a win being unattainable. Some beautiful shots in a fine innings in many aspects will be remembered by all who were there.
He finally ended unbeaten on 109 – his highest score for the club. Towards the end of the innings he was assisted by valuable contributions from Higginbottom (22) and Thompson (21*.). The home side ended with 219-5 from their allotted overs.
The result was a winning draw for Swarkestone who gained 17 points with Chesterfield 9 points.
A difficult first match for Chesterfield but to their credit they showed character and resilience which should stand them in good stead for the season.