Thursday, April 6th, 2023


Matthew Waite picked up three wickets as Worcestershire fought back on the rain-hit opening day of the LV=Insurance County Championship match with Derbyshire at the Incora County Ground.

Derbyshire reached 138-2 at one stage, and Worcestershire’s four-pronged pace attack initially found it challenging to hit a consistent line and length.

Any early ring rustiness was perhaps understandable, given that the pre-season programme was decimated by the weather and the uncertain conditions underfoot today.

This was highlighted when Ben Gibbon twice went crashing to the ground in his delivery stride – over and around the wicket – although, thankfully, he was able to continue without any injury alarms.

But Waite and some of the other bowlers gradually started to obtain some sort of control as the day progressed.

Five wickets fell in the final session, which ended at 7.15 pm, as Derbyshire closed on 300-8.

Waite, in his first match for Worcestershire since signing on a permanent basis after two loan spells last summer, ended with the excellent figures of 14-3-43-3.

It lifted his wicket tally to 15 in just four Championship appearances for Worcestershire.

There were also two wickets for Joe Leach, who will count himself unfortunate to have had two catches dropped off his bowling, and Gibbon.

Overnight rain meant play did not get underway until 2pm.

Worcestershire Club Captain, Brett D’Oliveira, opted to bowl first after winning the toss.

New signing, Adam Hose, made his Worcestershire debut, while spinner Josh Baker and pace bowler Adam Finch were excluded from the 13 players who made the trip to Derby.

Leach and Josh Tongue shared the new ball, and Derbyshire openers Billy Godleman and Haider Ali scored freely as the 50 came up in 6.4 overs.

It was Waite who made the first breakthrough with his second delivery after he took over from Tongue at the Racecourse End.

Haider Ali (22) reached for a widish delivery and dragged the ball onto his stumps at 54-1.

Leach made it two wickets in two overs for Worcestershire when Brooke Guest (4) went for a drive and was bowled by a delivery which nipped back.

Gibbon came on for Leach after an initial spell of 1-29 from six overs as Derbyshire continued to at a rapid pace with the 100 raised in 15.4 overs.

Godleman was fortunate to edge Gibbon just short of Jack Haynes at second slip before he completed a 42 ball half century.

But Leach returned to the attack to dismiss the left hander on 70 from 61 deliveries thanks to a superb catch from Gibbon.

He flicked Leach into the mid-wicket region, and Gibbon reacted sharply to hold onto the chance diving low to his right.

It ended a partnership of 77 with Wayne Madsen with the total 138-3 in the 23rd over.

Leach came close to picking up another scalp, but Leus du Plooy on six survived a chance at backward point.

It did not prove to be a costly miss, with Gibbon dismissing Derbyshire’s new skipper after tea.

Du Plooy (16) had already played and missed at one delivery earlier in the over but then flashed outside the off stump, and Gareth Roderick held onto a sharp chance low to his left at 189-4.

Derbyshire were made to work hard for runs in the final session, and there was more joy for Waite in picking up the wicket of Madsen for a fine 87.

He was beaten all ends up after pushing forward and was plumb lbw.

Matt Lamb (27) was then run out by Libby’s superb direct hit with only one stump to aim at after Anuj Dal had turned Leach backward of point.

Waite’s perseverance was rewarded when Anuj Dal (3) perished to another excellent fine catch, this time by Hose diving to his right at third slip.

Leach was again unfortunate when Zak Chappell on six was put down at mid-wicket, and he and Ben Aitchison hit out to add 59.

Gibbon came back into the attack near the end of the day, and Hose took another good head-high catch in the cover region to account for Aitchison (26).