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Jon Culley at Derby
April 24, 2013
Nottinghamshire 28 for 0 trail Derbyshire 256 (Chanderpaul 87*, Broad 4-57, Gurney 4-86) by 228 runs
Derbyshire's decision to make Shivnarine Chanderpaul the marquee signing of their return to First Division cricket could not have been demonstrated more amply as he put himself forward with all his customary patience and obstinacy as the cornerstone of a recovery.
Chanderpaul, the 38-year-old left-hander with the most recognisable stance in international cricket, last year became only the second West Indian batsman to pass 10,000 Test match runs. Here he passed another milestone when his first-class aggregate rolled over 22,000. He would have supplemented that with his 67th first-class century, you imagine, had he not run out of partners, which might be a recurrent theme of his latest spell in county cricket.
Chanderpaul was left stranded on 87 not out but at one stage it looked likely that it would be a good deal fewer as Nottinghamshire, whose visit to the Racecourse has been eagerly awaited since the champagne corks popped on their winning of Division Two title last September, threatened to inflict more embarrassment on the newcomers, less than a week after they were dismissed for 60 by Middlesex at Lord's.
Able to call on Stuart Broad to bolster an attack that under-performed in an opening-round defeat, Notts overcame the loss of Andre Adams to injury early in the day to have their neighbours from along the A52 in serious trouble at 75 for 6, in grave danger of suffering another feeble surrender.
Such a fate would have risked significant damage to morale among a set of largely inexperienced players. Broad, moreover, was not of a mind to take pity on them. His first spell was a little erratic, with a sprinkling of no-balls and leg-byes, but he found his rhythm more readily than is sometimes the case at this time of year and his four wickets were a suitable reward. Derbyshire's younger batsmen were reminded of the potency of his bouncer just often enough to keep their focus sharp but on a green, seaming pitch he bowled a fuller length effectively, getting good swing and finding the edge of the bat with reassuring frequency.
He dealt the first blow to Derbyshire in his third over as Wayne Madsen, the skipper, fell into a delivery that umpire Martin Bodenham thought about for a few moments before raising the finger. Billy Godleman, who was beginning to look set after surviving a chance to Ed Cowan at third slip on 10, was then caught in two minds about whether to play or not, thin-edging a catch to wicketkeeper Chris Read as he tried to withdraw the bat.
Dan Redfern didn't help himself with a loose drive taken at gully and Jonathan Clare poked at one outside off stump but the wickets were earned. "He usually takes wickets for us," Mick Newell, Nottinghamshire's director of cricket, said afterwards. "I thought he bowled a good length, a bit fuller than in the past. He is swinging the ball and inducing the edges and I think it is important for him that he is that kind of bowler, who pitches the ball up and who has the bouncer as the surprise."
Broad's appearances for Nottinghamshire have been rare ever since he moved from Leicestershire, his elevation to international cricket coming sooner than Newell anticipated. This is only his 12th appearance in the Championship for Notts, yet his return in those is 58 wickets at 24.27 runs each, which reflects well not only on his ability but his eagerness to serve his county.
It is good news from Nottinghamshire's point of view that there will be another opportunity for him next week, when Durham visit Trent Bridge and Graeme Swann, who had a net at Derby, will make his competitive comeback. Newell knows already that Adams, who has a suspected torn calf muscle, will not play.
"He is going for a scan but the physio is pretty sure there is a tear in there and he won't bowl again in this match or play against Durham," Newell said. "We haven't got another Championship game until the middle of May but if there is a tear it will be at least two to three weeks to heal."
Adams missed the end of last season with a similar injury and at 37 his powers of recovery are not what they were. After relying heavily on his wickets in the last three seasons - 189 of them in total - Nottinghamshire's title ambitions would undoubtedly suffer should he have a prolonged absence.
Broad bowled in five spells, which was probably more than would have been the case had Adams remained on the field. It was a wicket, moreover - one that pitch inspector David Capel will take a second look at - that would have suited Adams ideally, which only reinforces the merits of Chanderpaul's four-hour vigil. The conditions prompted Nottinghamshire to pick Harry Gurney, a left-armer who bowls a fuller length, ahead of Ajmal Shahzad, who might not have been so effective.
As the ball softened, Chanderpaul found support eventually from Clare, who perished frustratingly on 49, and Tony Palladino, who made 39 before becoming a fourth victim for Gurney. Their partnerships with Chanderpaul added 96 and 68.
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