Shiv fails on landmark day
 

Guardian UK article.

DERBYSHIRE, ENGLAND - Shivnarine Chanderpaul took his place among cricket's batting greats by playing his 300th first-class match but marked the occasion with one of his meekest dismissals for Derbyshire.

Only six men in the history of the game reached such a landmark of appearances with a higher average than Chanderpaul's 56.19, a list headed by Denis Compton and also comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sir Garfield Sobers, Ranjitsinhji, Graeme Hick and Barry Richards.

But the lively surface and sporting atmospheric conditions meant that even one of the elite was troubled.

The 38-year-old Guyanese left-hander was given a sustained working-over by a Sussex attack that improved once early giddiness, prompted by the green-tinged pitch, subsided.

Twice he survived confident appeals for caught behind, and Michael Yardy floored a low chance at second slip off James Anyon, before he succumbed in a most un-Chanderpaul manner, bunting a delivery from Steve Magoffin that stopped on him to the substitute, Andrew Miller, who, stationed at extra cover, was the only fielder in front of point on the off side.

Derbyshire's return to the top flight of the County Championship has been undermined by a lack of consistency in their batting.

However, having spent the best part of a fortnight simmering at their Headingley humbling – when they lost by an innings despite posting 475 – their top order appeared over-anxious to impose themselves.

The one constant for Derbyshire this season has been at the toss – six tosses in domestic cricket, six losses, six times inserted.

This time, once the morning showers subsided, they raced out of the blocks with a flurry of cuts and pulls – one cross-batted blow from Chesney Hughes leading to a lost ball as early as the third over – to reach tea at 97 for two.

But the final session of an opening day restricted to 56 overs belonged firmly to the visitors after they realigned their lengths.

The floodlights, switched on after a brief shower, were no longer necessary when Dan Redfern, unnerved earlier in the over by a blow to the groin, was pinned lbw by James Anyon.

Two further blows before the close further altered the complexion of the contest.

Derbyshire's captain, Wayne Madsen, succumbed to a brute of a delivery from the indefatigable Chris Jordan in the penultimate over for a composed 63, and when the Championship debutant Ally Evans' nightwatchman shift was culled after three deliveries by a Monty Panesar arm ball in the next, the home team had lost four wickets for 45 runs.

First Published In The UK Guardian.

Date: 
Wed, 05/15/2013 - 11:16