Yorkshire win by 1 wicket
Derbyshire 109 All Out Yorkshire 110 for 9
The bowlers from both sides will be wishing they could roll this pitch up take it everywhere they go, the batters not so much. It was very much like the Grand old Duke of York throughout, when it was up it was up and when it was down it was down, with variable bounce plaguing the batters throughout the day, along with prodigious sideways movement to boot.
Yorkshire having won the toss and asked Derbyshire to bat first, getting the absolute best of bowling conditions, reducing the hosts to 28 for 3 inside 12 overs, the fact the game continued was touch and go with the umpires consulting the players after three Derbyshire batters had been struck on the body in those 12 overs. The worst being Luis Reece who was stuck in the grille of his helmet from just about the half volley length from Ben Coad, thankfully for a near capacity crowd inside Queens Park it did continue and no one was injured in a match filled with intrigue and drama.
When Derbyshire’s skipper Billy Godleman fell in the fifth over for 16, no one imagined that it would take until the 28th over of the match for another batter to surpass his score, but that is what Harry Came did, scoring 19 off 58 balls and ultimately top scoring for the home side, ably supported by Mattie McKiernan, whose bat had a notable absence of tape on it and Ben Aitchison who hung around stoically for his 16 off 41 deliveries. The aforementioned Coad was the pick of the bowlers for Yorkshire taking 2 for 15 from his 10 overs, and could have had several more, regularly beating the outside and inside edge but to no avail. Despite the obvious advantages to the seamers it was spin in the form of Schutt and Sullivan who finished off the Derbyshire innings taking 2 for 5 and 2 for 23 respectively as Derbyshire subsided inside 43 overs.
At the half way stage, it was considered that 109 was under par and that we may be in for an early finish. There was an early finish however nowhere near as early as some people predicted as Yorkshire took 31.5 overs to chase their total for the loss of nine wickets and came a coat of varnish away from losing as their number 10 Harry Sullivan inside edged Nick Potts past his leg stump for four to move his side within one blow of victory.
That victory was secured mainly by two batters, firstly George Hill who batted excellently for his 21 from 48 balls, facing the newish ball coming in after 7.2 overs when again the pitch was at it’s spiciest and nullifying the threatening Derbyshire bowlers. The other was Matthew Waite who aside from Godleman was the only batter to score at more than a run a ball with his 23 runs coming from just 17 balls which included 5 fours. Only one other batter reached double figures for Yorkshire with Will Fraine opening the batting and scoring 12 off 13 balls, before getting one which kept very low from the impressive Sam Conners and splayed his stumps wide.
Conners recently back from his England Lions debut, took his best ever List A figures of 5 for 28 and looked threatening every ball as did Ben Aitchison who took 3 for 33 from his 10 overs.
It could have been different for Derbyshire, whose fielding was sloppy in the opening overs, dropping two catches, missing two run outs and making two poor mis-fields which cost them four or five runs. Had they taken one of those chances then who knows what the outcome would have been, but it was not to be and Yorkshire boarded their coach back to Leeds with the points and the knowledge that victory on Tuesday vs Hampshire at Marine Road Scarborough will see them qualify for the Quarter Finals. They can also qualify if they lose as long as their rivals from over the Pennines defeat Kent at Canterbury on the same day. Derbyshire sit bottom of the table following their two point deduction and will be playing for pride in their final game at Northants and to build momentum heading into the final stages of the County Championship season.