Hassan Azad batting Derbyshire
Match Reports

Foxes storm back against Derbyshire

DAY 2 | Leicestershire CCC 120 v Derbyshire CCC 139 & 160 for eight

SCORECARD | Available from Cricinfo HERE

REACTION | Leicestershire CCC batsman Hassan Azad spoke to BBC Radio Leicester's Richard Rae at stumps. The interview is available HERE

REPORT | Leather continued to dominate willow on the second day of this exciting Specsavers County Championship game between Leicestershire CCC and Derbyshire CCC.

Hassan Azad was undefeated at No.3 in racking up 46 unbeaten runs from 107 deliveries as the Foxes ended their first innings 19 runs shy of Derbyshire CCC’s 139.

Derbyshire CCC batsman Wayne Madsen, also batting in that position, scored 51 but a flurry of final session wickets from the spirited home attack meant that the visitors slipped from 106 for two to 160 for eight by stumps of an extended day.

It was again a real team effort with Muhammad Abbas claiming three, Chris Wright and Will Davis taking a brace and Dieter Klein one as the Foxes stormed back after tea.

This intriguing match has had similar traits with both teams virtually neck and neck in terms of batting runs in the first innings: 120 and 119.

The batsmen coming in at three for each side - Madsen and Azad - have top-scored in each innings and contributed over one-third of the runs scored off the bat in the game: 144 of 384.

Leicestershire CCC’s wickets have been spread in both innings; Abbas has taken six wickets in the match, Wright five, Davis four and Klein three. 

The Foxes started well in the first session of the day, putting on 22 runs in the first half hour of play. Harry Dearden led the way, hitting Ravi Rampaul for 10 in an over showing impetus at the crease which was a good way to start the day.

Dearden’s partner at the crease, Azad, was happy to soak up deliveries and spend time at the wicket as he looked to give the Foxes a solid platform.

Following the positive start, Dearden (22) was trapped lbw by Luis Reece for 22 to end an innings high stand at 32, and a couple more wickets fell as the score went from 82 to four to 85 for seven.

Wicket-keeper Lewis Hill (1) was dismissed for one after edging Logan van Beek’s delivery into the hands of Madsen at first slip.

Hill’s replacement, Klein (0), then got a touch to a full delivery and Harvey Hosein took an excellent diving one-handed catch. Umpires Graham Lloyd and Mark Newell consulted and confirmed that it wasn’t a bump ball.

This meant that van Beek was on a hat-trick as Wright was walking to the crease, but the experienced batsman kept composed at the crease for the final ball of the over and blocked it back down the wicket.

Although Wright stood the test of van Beek’s hat-trick delivery, the batsman became Tony Palladino’s first wicket of the day, further improving his impressive figures. Wright (4) edged an attempted drive and was caught at the wicket.

Davis came in and played thoughtfully alongside Azad whose stay was now 163 minutes long – albeit with a break overnight.

Azad and Davis saw the Foxes over the 100 mark, but as the half-hour mark of Davis’ innings approached, van Beek claimed his third wicket of the day. The stand of 15 between Davis (7) and Azad came to an end after van Beek bowled the Foxes seamer.

The battling Azad was still standing strong at the crease and a flurry of runs got him within one shot of his half-century.

A hard-fought, well-structured, fifty for the Foxes it would have been as well. Yet, unfortunately for Azad, last man Abbas edged a delivery from Palladino delivery to Madsen in the slips. The seamer ended with superb figures of five for 29.

The Foxes ended their innings at 120, and the teams came back out after lunch and a weather delay to get the second session of the day underway at 2:45pm.

The visiting batsmen started the innings well, with both making unbeaten scores which saw them through to tea at 37 without loss. Abbas was unfortunate to see a Billy Godleman nick not taken in the cordon during that passage of play.

But, it took just two balls of the final session of the day before the Foxes made the breakthrough via former Derbyshire CCC man Davis. He grabbed his third wicket of the game as Reece (20) edged his delivery through to Lewis Hill.

Reece made way for dangerman Madsen, who started his second innings in similar fashion to his first innings, firing his way to a quick 31 (37b) before Billy Godleman (21) suffered the same fate as his opening partner.

The ball again ended in the hands of Hill, who dived to his right to catch Godleman (23) from a typically accurate Abbas delivery.

Madsen went on to make the first half-century of the game before falling victim to an outstanding delivery from Abbas that he could only edge through to Paul Horton at first slip. It was part of a fine contest between the two, with Abbas vitally gaining the upper hand.

Derbyshire CCC sat on 106 for three before Chris Wright made two important breakthroughs. He took a sharp return catch to dismiss Tom Lace (21) before Alex Hughes (2) played on.

Klein then enticed Matthew Critchley (0) into offering a stroke outside off stump, and although the batsman had second thoughts and looked to withdraw the bat, the ball touched the inside edge. Hill had another catch, with the visitors now at 130 for six.

A little partnership developed before Davis bowled Anuj Dal (5) in the antepenultimate over, and Abbas then had Hosein (22) caught down the leg-side, meaning the visitors will start day three 179 ahead with two second innings intact.

FIGURES (1st inns) | Abbas 17-6-38-3, Wright 16-5-39-3, Klein 8.4-2-30-2, Davis 9-3-24-2.

FIGURES (2nd inns) | Abbas 16-5-42-3, Wright 16-4-38-2, Klein 13-2-33-1, Davis 13-4-40-2.

TEAM | Horton (capt), Javid, Azad, Cosgrove, Ackermann, Dearden, Hill (wk), Klein, Wright, Davis, Abbas.

Derbyshire CCC | Godleman (capt), Reece, Madsen, Lace, Hughes, Hosein (wk), Critchley, Dal, van Beek, Palladino, Rampaul.

IMAGES | Thanks to John Mallett of Outside Off for providing the images throughout the game.