CricInfo Championship: Derbyshire v Durham at Derby, 6-9 Jun 2001
Nigel Gardner

Derbyshire 2nd innings: Lunch - Day 3, Tea - Day 3, Stumps - Day 3,
Durham 2nd innings: Day Four: Lunch, Day Four: Tea,
Live Reports from previous days


PENG FENDS OFF DERBYSHIRE

Derbyshire's pursuit of their first Championship victory since August was held up by another impressive innings from Nicky Peng.

The Durham batsman was unbeaten on 54 at tea with the visitors on 172-3 chasing 326, still 154 runs short with 33 overs remaining.

With the pitch still playing well, a draw looked the most likely result unless Derbyshire could break through quickly in the final session.

Tim Munton had taken an early wicket by having Michael Gough lbw for seven and the home side's hopes rose again after lunch when two wickets fell in consecutive overs.

Jon Lewis was caught behind as he tried to cut Richard Illingworth and then Martin Love touched a ball that moved away from Graeme Welch when he had scored 40.

But Peng joined Martin Speight to bat through the rest of the afternoon with few problems and the 18-year-old's ninth boundary took him to a deserved half-century.



DERBYSHIRE SET DURHAM STIFF TARGET

Durham are facing a stiff run chase at Derby after Derbyshire set them 326 for victory in 85 overs.

Tim Munton batted on for 40 minutes on the fourth morning as Derbyshire added 53 runs in nine overs before they were bowled out for 267.

That left Durham to score at just under four an over for victory, a tall order in a game where the rate had been under three and on a slow pitch.

Perhaps Munton was mindful of Durham's last day performance a week ago when they scored 318 at the Riverside to beat Nottinghamshire but a repeat of that looked unlikely at lunch when they were 43-1 from 19 overs.

Nathan Dumelow went in the first over of the day after sweeping Nick Phillips for four when he edged the spinner low to Martin Love at first slip.

Richard Illingworth followed three overs later when he edged Steve Harmison to second slip but Karl Krikken scored freely before he was bowled driving at Phillips for 75.

Munton hit Phillips for a four and six before he pulled his third ball to midwicket and the Derbyshire captain then broke through by having Michael Gough lbw to a ball that swung in.

Both Munton and Graeme Welch beat the bat with the new ball but it was the spin of Dumelow that almost claimed another wicket when Love edged the final ball of his first over only for Krikken to put down the catch.

The Australian was on eight at the time and that could prove to be a costly miss.



DERBYSHIRE SCENT FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP WIN

Michael Di Venuto appeared to have put Derbyshire in control of the match at Derby with one of his most accomplished innings for the county.

The Tasmanian left-hander batted for 228 minutes to take Derbyshire's lead past 250 after Durham had fought their way back into the game.

After the tail-enders cut Derbyshire's first innings lead to 58, they had the home side in trouble at 35-5 shortly after lunch.

But Di Venuto played with patience and restraint and with Rob Bailey, added 70 in 24 overs to swing the game back towards Derbyshire.

But Bailey drove wildly to mid-on and Graeme Welch was bowled by Ian Hunter to put the game back in the balance again until Karl Krikken made his second crucial batting contribution of the match.

Although he had some luck, he helped put on 87 in 26 overs and the lead had climbed to 263 when Di Venuto was caught down the legside for 86 by Martin Speight, deputising for Andy Pratt who was off the field with sore knees.

Krikken reached his second fifty from 105 balls after spending 26 deliveries on 47 and at the close, Derbyshire were 214-6, 272 in front with every chance of recording their first Championship win since they beat Durham at Derby in August.



DI VENUTO HOLDS KEY TO DERBYSHIRE SUCCESS

The Championship match at Derby remains evenly poised after another closely contested session.

At tea, Derbyshire were 133-5, a lead of 191 with Michael Di Venuto possibly holding the key to the match.

The Australian left-hander was unbeaten on 53 but Derbyshire have little batting to come on a pitch which is still playing well despite some uneven bounce at one end.

Nick Phillips enjoyed an early success after lunch when he bowled Luke Sutton for 13 but Di Venuto and Rob Bailey added 70 for the fourth wicket before Bailey fell to an uncharacteristic shot.

He dragged a ball from Michael Gough to mid on and when Graeme Welch was bowled by Ian Hunter for nine, Derbyshire were 118-5.

Di Venuto and Karl Krikken survived until tea but Derbyshire will look for a lot more from their overseas batsman.



DURHAM STAGE RECOVERY AT DERBY

Durham fought back to leave the match at Derby in the balance at lunch on the third day.

The tail took advantage of some poor Derbyshire bowling to reduce the first innings defecit to 58 and then Steve Harmison took two early wickets.

Durham went into another windy and cool day on 201-7 and although Ian Hunter was caught behind off a ball from Tim Munton which moved away, Nick Phillips and Simon Brown plundered some loose bowling from Richard Illingworth.

The left-armer sent down an inviting mixture of full tosses and long hops although he did trap Phillips who was well caught by Munton at deep mid-on.

Brown was caught beind for 22, swatting at a short ball from Graeme Welch, but the match was now nicely poised and Harmison gave it another nudge when he pinned Steve Stubbings lbw as the opener moved across his crease.

Mathew Dowman had hit a superb century in the corresponding match last season but he made only eight this time, edging Harmison into his stumps as he pushed forward.

At lunch, Derbyshire were 29-2, a lead of 87 but their grip on the match was now not as strong as it had been at the start of play.

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Date-stamped : 09 Jun2001 - 22:31