Evans takes Seconds into lead at Chesterfield

SCORE | Day 1, Second XI Championship: Derbyshire Second XI 158 v Leicestershire Second XI 168-6


REPORT | By Pete Johnson

Leicestershire CCC travelled up to Chesterfield to take on Derbyshire CCC in the final match of both sides’ SEC 2018 campaign. The ground at Chesterfield is named Queen’s Park, and was named so in 1887 in recognition of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. The ground is located centrally in the market town of Chesterfield.

In September 1975 Leicestershire CCC clinched their first ever County Championship title on this ground. The match was played over three days - Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, 13 to 16 September. I vividly remember travelling up to the game on the Monday & Tuesday as a spectator, wanting to be there to witness us winning our first ever County Championship title. I had taken a couple of day’s holiday from work I would hasten to add, and not having thrown a sickie (Editor’s note: We’ll believe you, plenty wouldn’t!) I am sure I am correct in recalling that David Gower was 12th man for Leicestershire CCC for all three days.

The match is also famous as on Monday, September 15 (Day 2) the late Chris Balderstone being the only man to have played league football and county cricket on the same day. At the end of day two he was 51 not out when play finished at 6.00pm.

He travelled up to Doncaster, some 30 miles away, and played for Doncaster Rovers in a 1-1 draw against Brentford. I am sure our esteemed Editor, a lifelong Donny fan, will know the name of the Rovers scorer off the top of his head, even if it was a bit before his time! (Editor’s note: I’m far too young to remember that!!)

The game was played at Belle Vue, their old ground, Rovers now having moved to the Keepmoat Stadium. Balderstone completed his innings the next morning, going on to make a century. Balderstone was eventually run out for 116, as if he had not done enough running about the previous evening... (Editor’s note: We remember you fondly, Baldy, and I still find it amazing that you played on the same day for both teams that I follow the fortunes of)

At Queen’s Park the Scorers sit in what was the old Press Box to the left of the Pavilion. We are accompanied by Steve who is doing the PA Announcing. I have given him the title of Scorer Support Executive as he is on hand to assist to our every need.  The crooked spire of the Church of St Mary and All Saints is visible to our right. I am reliably informed that the spire is crooked as a result of lead that covers the spire, and unseasoned timber being used in the construction some 600 or so years ago. You also may have read that two weeks ago some travellers camped up at Queen’s Park, but they have moved on, the only trace left behind being a patch of oil on the square.

There was a healthy sprinkling of spectators present when the players took to the field sitting around the pavilion, and on the grassy bank to the left of the pavilion. There was a fair being set up at the back in preparation for the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Leicestershire had the better of the day dismissing Derbyshire for 158. Three wickets each for triallist seamers Quinton Boatswain and Ed Moulton. Ben Mike weighed in with two wickets, and Academy off spinner Nat Bowley also picked up a brace of wickets. In reply Leicestershire closed on 168-6, thanks in the main to an undefeated 77 by Sam Evans, who was involved in 50 partnerships with Lewis Hill and Mike.

A few weeks ago I scored with a gentleman whose Christian name was Quentin. You may recall (or you may not) that I reported that I only knew of two people with the Christian name Quentin. That is still the case as the eagle eyed amongst you will note that bowler Boatswain spells his Christian name Quinton not Quentin.

Evans, skippering County called incorrectly, and opposite number James Kettleborough elected to bat. Mike bowled a very impressive opening spell from the Pavilion End during which he trapped opener Rahib Ali (11) in front. Callum Brodrick joined Kettleborough, the pair adding 47 for the second wicket.

Kettleborough (34, 55b) went caught at first slip by Aadil Ali off right arm seamer Moulton. Derbyshire CCC 60-2, this soon became 67-4 when Tom Wood (4) was bowled by a beautiful delivery from right arm seamer Boatswain, the ball clipping off, and the bails veering off to the leg side. Broderick (10) followed without addition to the score.

Zen Malik and Ewan Cox did a mini rebuilding job, and took Derbyshire CCC into lunch on 103-4 from 32 overs. In the second over after Lunch Malik (28) was only going in one direction (Editor’s note: I’ll tell you my Louis Tomlinson story sometime Pete!) when he was bowled by Boatswain. Cox (17) was caught at second slip by Hassan Azad off Moulton.

The score then progressed to 129 before two wickets fell on that total. Josh Lacey (5) was expertly caught low down at second slip by Azad off Moulton, and Ali Hassan (6) was lbw to Boatswain, Derbyshire CCC 129-8 from 42.2 overs. Only 16 runs were added before the innings was wrapped up by Leicestershire CCC.

Tom Brett (12) was pinned in front by off-spinner Bowley, who has just turned 17. The last wicket to fall was that of Sam Conners (6) who was caught by Aadil at slip off Bowley. Nick Potts (5*). An excellent display by the Leicestershire CCC attack. Boatswain on debut returning figures of 12-3-23-3, fellow debutant Moulden 12-3-36-3, Mike 14-5-26-2, turning in one of his best spells of the season in my opinion. Bowley 6.3-1-15-2 - another debutant turning in an impressive spell. David Sayer was wicketless with 0-49 from 8.

Leicestershire CCC commenced their reply at 3.34pm with Evans and Azad opening the innings. Azad (0) went lbw to the final ball of the first over which was bowled by Harry Wanford. Aadil joined Evans, and the pair looked comfortable against the Derbyshire CCC pace attack. At 4.19pm a light drizzle began to fall, and the Umpires took the players off. Tea was taken with Leicestershire CCC 45-1 from 10, Evans 25*, Aadil 13*.

Play was delayed for eight minutes after tea had been taken due to rain falling, but no overs were lost (The Golden Hour kicking in). During the first over after tea, a gaggle of Canadian Geese appeared on the boundary edge, and were ushered away by a member of the groundstaff on a sit on mower. Ornithologists amongst us will be fully aware that a group of geese, when on the ground, is known as a gaggle. However, Sir David Attenborough better start looking over his shoulder in view of my revelations in a few sentences time.

In the next over Aadil (14) had two of his stumps removed by seamer Conners, who was serving up an excellent delivery. County 46-2 from 11.1 overs. Lewis Hill joined Evans, and the pair built a 50 partnership from 39 balls. Hill’s contribution being 33 – with 32 of his runs in boundaries. At 5.27pm, with 18.1 overs having been bowled, there was a low level fly past by the Canadian Geese, a fielder at cover having to squat down to avoid our flying feathered friends.

A group of geese in flight is called a skein, team or a wedge. When flying close together they are called a plump. This was definitely a plump of geese. One of the geese flew into some netting around the ground, and appeared somewhat dazed, subsequently taking up a position at fine-leg. The loan goose looked very unsteady on its feet.

With the final ball of the over Hill’s (37, 31b) goose was cooked when he was caught at first slip by Broderick off left arm spinner Brett. County 102-3 off 19. Don Butchart (1) went lbw to Conners. The goose on the outfield had now stumbled from fine-leg to square-leg, possibly hoping to get a better gander at proceedings going on in the middle.

Jack Nightingale (0) went stumped by Kettleborough off Brett. Geese and Nightingales… as the late FS Trueman always used to say ‘I don’t know what’s going on out there’, however I do have a bird’s eye view from my vantage point.

Leicestershire CCC 112-5 from 22.4 overs. Evans was standing firm clipping, and forcing the ball to all parts of the ground, and scampering busily between the wickets. Evans went to his 50 (67b, 8x4) with the score on 116-5 from 24. Mike had joined Evans, and the pair put Leicestershire into the ascendency late in the day. They added a 50 partnership in 94 balls, the score 162-5 from 38.1.

Evans leading from the front, and playing a real Captains innings. Mike (22) 47b was bowled by spinner Josh Lacey 6.4 overs before the close. Academy batsman Ash Trusz successfully assisted Evans in seeing Leicestershire into the close of play.

County closed on 168 for six from 48 overs. Evans 77* (145b), Trusz 3*(21b). A fine innings from Evans straight on the back of his 74 not out up at Blackpool last week. It was apt, with all the geese appearing during the evening session, that Evans gave the bowling a bit of a basting.

Leicestershire leading by 10 runs with four wickets in hand at the close of day one. Play finishing at 7.09pm. On reflection one wonders if any of the geese laid a golden egg in the golden hour.  Derbyshire CCC 3 points, Leicestershire CCC 5 points.

* The second day of this Championship game gets underway at 11am today. Leicestershire Second XI is next in action at the Fischer County Ground against the same opposition in a 50-over Friendly starting at 11.30am.