Opener's innings is key to Chesterfield win

Luke Westwell walks off the ground at the end of his match-winning inningsLuke Westwell walks off the ground at the end of his match-winning innings
Luke Westwell walks off the ground at the end of his match-winning innings
Luke Westwell played the innings of his life to steer Chesterfield to a nerve-shredding Derbyshire County League victory over Marehay at Queen's Park.

The opener finished 99 not out as Chesterfield edged home by two wickets with four balls to spare.

But this knock was worth any number of centuries.

Chasing 247 for victory in the Division One clash, there was not the remotest hint of a close finish when Westwell and Ben Slater were sharing an opening stand of 192.

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That partnership used up only 33 of the 50 overs so Chesterfield were well ahead of the run-rate.

But, once Slater was caught off a skier for a well-controlled 109, the hosts suffered a scarcely-believable collapse.

Eight other batters went to the crease and they mustered only 16 runs between them with five falling for ducks.

When Tom Wanford was bowled by Harry Brocklehurst, Chesterfield were 230-8 with five overs left and 17 still needed.

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Matt Taylor showed a stout defence without scoring and ran well between the wickets as he and Westwell brought the target down to six off the final over.

Crucially, Westwell was on strike. He turned down a possible single off the first ball before smashing seamer Brocklehurst's second delivery over mid-wicket for six to spark joyous celebrations in the Chesterfield camp.

That was the dramatic conclusion to a game featuring remarkable swings of fortune.

Chesterfield won the toss and put in Marehay who raced to 23-0 off the first nine balls of the game.

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They galloped to 53 in only the fifth over before Lewis Palmer holed out to mid-on for 40.

Marehay were still well placed on 112-1 when Kemira Wijenayake sparked the first collapse of the day with the second hat-trick of his career.

He had Matthew Bailey caught by Ben Kingham at mid-wicket before trapping Stephen Lee lbw.

The off-spinner rounded off his memorable haul by having David Buckley caught by Kingham at short mid-on.

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Opener Ethan Debono held together the Marehay innings with a fine 115 before they were bowled out for 246.

In all, 18 wickets fell in a game in which the four openers scored 363 of the 445 runs that came off the bat.

Chesterfield seconds also survived a late collapse before winning by four wickets at Stainsby Hall in Division Four North.

Detroy Smith took 4-43 as the hosts were bowled out for 113.

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A second-wicket stand of 60 between Michael Michailidis (66) and Callum Hiron (30) helped Chesterfield to within one run of their target.

They then lost four wickets in six balls but still got home with 24 of their 45 overs to spare.

Chesterfield's Sunday team got their Mansfield & District League campaign under way following three abandonments.

They were all out for 144 in a Section One clash at Queen's Park against Byron Abbey, who edged home by three wickets.

On Saturday Chesterfield host Eckington at Queen's Park, the seconds travel to Morton Colliery and the third team play Alfreton at Calow.

The Sunday team are away to Aston Hall.

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