Saturday, April 8th, 2023


Matthew Waite scored his maiden first class century to help earn Worcestershire a first innings lead of 152 on day three of the LV=Insurance County Championship encounter with Derbyshire at the Incora County Ground.

The all-rounder followed up his four first innings wickets by steering Worcestershire from their overnight 331-6 to 473 all out with a superb chanceless knock.

Waite reached three figures when he cut Derbyshire skipper Leus du Plooy to the third man boundary for his 14th four.

He received excellent support today from Joe Leach and Ben Gibbon in partnerships of 42 and 82, respectively.

The bowlers then backed up the efforts of the batters and fought back in determined fashion after Derbyshire openers Billy Godleman and Haider Ali had put on 134,

Leach, who bowled an inspired post-tea spell, and Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira, both picked up two wickets and were well supported by Gibbon and Waite as Worcestershire plugged away with the ball and built pressure.

Derbyshire closed on 269-6 from 70 overs – an overall lead of 117.

Worcestershire resumed on 331-6 from 95 overs, with D’Oliveira unbeaten on 87 and Waite 34 not out.

They added only six more before D’Oliveira’s fine knock ended on 89 when he was run out.

Waite forced Suranga Lakmal off the back foot towards the cover point boundary, and the two batters crossed for two before D’Oliveira was run out after initially setting off for a third and then not being able to regain his ground at the non-striker’s end. 

New batter Leach brought up the third batting point with a boundary off Lakmal before a pull for four by Waite at Sam Conners expense enabled him to complete an excellent half-century from 98 balls.

Leach (16) helped him add 42 before he and Josh Tongue (4) were both caught in the leg gulley region after Derbyshire employed a predominantly legside field.

But Waite cut Conners to the ropes to achieve his career-best, beating the 59 not out for Yorkshire versus Surrey at Scarborough last summer.

Worcestershire reached 396-9 in 110 overs to secure three batting points to add to the three for bowling.

Gibbon was caught off a no-ball from Lakmal when on four, and he and Waite took full advantage of this let-off.

Waite pulled Ben Aitchson for successive fours to stretch the Worcestershire lead into three figures.

He was hugged by Gibbon after completing his century, saluted his teammates with his bat and then the entire ground with Derbyshire players also joining in with the applause.

Gibbon defended staunchly but took advantage of a rank long-hop from Matt Lamb, which he pulled for six.

The stand was worth 82 and had caused lunch to be delayed before it was broken when Gibbon (30) was caught at mid-wicket to give Chappell a five-wicket haul.

When Derbyshire batted, openers Godleman and Haider Ali scored freely in completing half-centuries off 55 and 75 balls, respectively.

But D’Oliveira brought himself into the attack and made the first breakthrough at 134-1 when Haider Ali (65) pushed forward and was lbw.

It became two wickets in two overs when keeper Brooke Guest (0) played forward to Leach and had his off stump knocked back.

Derbyshire reached tea on 136-2, and on the resumption, Godleman and Madsen had to combat Leach’s excellent spell.

Madsen edged Leach for four and then survived a big appeal for leg before in a sustained burst of probing bowling.

It was no more than Leach deserved when Madsen (16) was beaten by a delivery angled back in and was lbw at 171-3.

He eventually took a breather after a top-notch spell of 9-4-21-1, which on another day could easily have yielded two or three more wickets.

Godleman was dropped off Gibbon at slip when on 82, but it was not a costly drop for Worcestershire.

He added only four more runs before he was bowled by a fine Gibbon delivery which came back in from the left armer.

Derbyshire were then 191-4, and D’Oliveira came back into the attack and made another crucial breakthrough.

Matt Lamb (16) pushed forward and bowled by a fine delivery from the leg spinner.

It became 235-6 when Anuj Dal (1) was lbw to Waite, who then saw Zak Chapple put down on 12 off a thick outside edge running from backward point.

Leach finished with figures of 19-6-60-2, D’Oliveira 9-0-27-2, Gibbon 10-2-32-1 and Waite 15-4-56-1.