County Championship: Big wins have Leicestershire and Derbyshire flying

County Championship: Big wins have Leicestershire and Derbyshire flying

Harvey Hosein. Picture courtesy of YouTube, with thanks

Leicestershire and Derbyshire made a mockery of early-season predictions with big wins in the opening round of Division Two fixtures.

The Foxes stunned Sussex on their own patch while Derbyshire ended a 15-year wait against Durham.

A hard-fought draw was the order of the day in Northampton, however, as a resolute Middlesex had Dawid Malan to thank.

But who impressed you most early on?

Result: Leicestershire 252 (Hill 67; Robinson 4-46) and 232-3 (Horton 61) beat Sussex 173 (Wiese 51; Taylor 6-47) and 308 (Salt 80; Ackermann 5-69, Taylor 4-75) by seven wickets, at Hove

Half-centuries from captain Paul Horton, Hasan Azad and Mark Cosgrove saw Leicestershire become the first victors of the 2019 season with an impressive seven-wicket win at Hove.

Chasing a target of 230 could have been tricky business but having resumed on 99-1, the top order ensured a lack of butterflies with a comfortable win over Sussex.

Colin Ackermann played his part with the bat, finishing unbeaten with 24 to go alongside his five-wicket haul in the second innings while Tom Taylor picked up ten in the match.

Points: Leicestershire 21, Sussex 3

Result: Derbyshire 197 (Hosein 78) and 334 (Hosein 62) beat Durham 171 (Reece 5-47) and 235 (Harte 69) by 125 runs, at Derby

A promising Durham chase ended with a whimper as Derbyshire picked up their first win over county cricket’s most northern county since 2004.

Chasing a tough 361, Durham had started well with openers Gareth Harte and Alex Lees both passing 50 in an opening stand worth 83.

But that was to be as good as it got, finishing 235 all out and 126 runs shy of their target, with Matt Critchley contributing three wickets to the cause as the sixth bowler used.

Points: Derbyshire 19, Durham 3

Result: Northamptonshire 445 (Wakely 76; Murtagh 6-80) and 10-0 drew with Middlesex 271 (Harris 61*; Buck 5-54) and 317-4d f/o (Malan 160*), at Wantage Road

The day started with Middlesex on the ropes and ended with declaration bowling from both sides as Northants were forced to settle for a draw at Wantage Road.

But their disappointment was ultimately thanks to a wonderful innings from Dawid Malan, a man still harbouring international ambitions who made a mockery of his disappointing home form with an unbeaten 160.

Nathan Buck followed up his first-innings five-wicket haul with two quick wickets again but Sam Robson, Max Holden and Eoin Morgan provided enough support for Middlesex to usurp their hosts’ total having followed on.

Points: Northamptonshire 12, Middlesex 9

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