Derbyshire 531 (Masood 219, McKiernan 101, Madsen 94, du Plooy 61*, Barnes 5-101) beat Leicestershire 213 (Evans 63, Conners 4-62) and 250 (Kimber 54, Thomson 3-50) by an innings and 68 runs
Derbyshire were delayed for longer than they might have anticipated before wrapping up an innings victory over rivals Leicestershire in Division Two of the LV= Insurance County Championship.
Leicestershire were 172 behind overnight with only four second-innings wickets in hand after trailing by a daunting 318 on first innings, but in familiar territory after mounting last-day rearguards to save a draw in their opening two matches, and they fought doggedly again, even with the odds heavily against them.
“I’m immensely proud of the players for the work they have put in and how we have evolved in a team in the short space of time I’ve been here,” Derbyshire’s head coach, Mickey Arthur, said. “We’ve played 12 days of cricket so far and haven’t been outplayed on any of them.
“The boys are starting to believe in themselves and once you start believing in yourselves as a team that becomes really powerful and I couldn’t be more happy at the moment.
“Shan has been outstanding, of course. He has led from the front and has taken a lot of batsmen with him but as good as he has been I thought Suranga Lakmal in this game has been outstanding. The spell he bowled today was world class and those two have galvanised the team.
“We are under no illusions, we have to keep doing it and keep getting better and there will be some worse days but to win a four-day game is a tough thing, it is damn hard and they deserve to enjoy this win.”
Kimber picked up six boundaries and passed fifty for the fourth time in only his eighth first-class match and Parkinson battled for more than two hours but these were only a few positives that Leicestershire can take forward from a disappointing four days.
Ed Barnes, whose maiden five-wicket haul at the end of the Derbyshire innings was another, stayed with Kimber for the first hour of the final day, but fell four overs after the second new ball was taken, Suranga Lakmal having him caught behind off an inside edge on to pad.
Kimber, who had played some attractive shots departed in Lakmal’s next over, leg before playing back, before Parkinson and Beuran Hendicks began a ninth-wicket partnership that would span 27 overs.
Parkinson found the boundary three times, flicking Lakmal off his legs and twice driving Thomson, as he and the South African pace bowler negotiated the 12 overs to lunch at 210 for 8. They further survived for the best part of an hour after the interval and had cut the deficit by 57 runs to 80 before Hendricks, having survived the chance of a stumping off Thomson on 11, was caught behind off McKiernan’s legspin for 15.
Parkinson moved to within a single of a half-century of his own but when Derbyshire skipper Billy Godleman called on Anuj Dal to bowl for the first time on the day the medium pacer had the Leicestershire vice-captain leg before with his first ball to complete the win.
It is only the second time in 58 years that Derbyshire have beaten their East Midlands rivals by an innings and the first time at Grace Road, as the Uptonsteel County Ground is traditionally known, since 1896. Indeed, the win over Leicestershire by an innings and 32 runs at Derby in 2011 was Derbyshire’s last innings victory over any opponent.
“I’m bitterly disappointed,” Paul Nixon, Leicestershire’s coach, said. “We didn’t get going in this game at all. In the first innings on that pitch we should have been getting 350-plus but there were too few partnerships, we gave wickets away too easily, our disciplines weren’t good enough, our thinking wasn’t good enough in different situations.
“We didn’t do ourselves justice with either the bat or the ball. We are not getting the basics right and that hurts you even more.
“We’re not being ruthless, we’re being soft at the moment and in first-class cricket you have to be better than that. Yes, we’ve had a couple of draws but they have been draws where we were hanging on and we’ve got to start leading in games, putting our marker down from day one and being relentless in our batting and our bowling.”