Broad puts Derbyshire to sword
Nottinghamshire 443 (Taylor 112, Cowan 59, Hales 56) and 43 for 1 beat Derbyshire 256 (Chanderpaul 87*, Broad 4-57, Gurney 4-86) and 229 (Redfern 61, Chanderpaul 57, Broad 4-34) by nine wickets
Early season matches can be one thing or another for an England fast bowler in need of a pipe-opener ahead of the summer international programme and with Stuart Broad you never know quite what to expect at this time of year. In some ways, it is safer to take an open-minded view.
He can blow hot and cold at the best of times. But if it was a chill wind that blew across the County Ground as Derbyshire sought to avoid an innings defeat, they found to their cost that Broad was in the mood and rhythm to leave scorch marks, figuratively speaking. Showing every indication that he will begin the New Zealand series in fine fettle, Broad ended almost single-handedly any prospect of an honourable draw for the home side, his burst with the second new ball bringing four wickets in the space of 17 deliveries.
It set up a comfortable win for Nottinghamshire that, in reality, only a run of heavy showers was ever likely to deny them.
Just as importantly, there was no sign of rust from Broad, whose eight wickets in the match maintained his impressive record for Nottinghamshire.
He bowled at a decent pace and with good control of both the short ball, which he used sparingly but effectively, and the yorker, which in the conditions was a much more useful weapon. There was no hint, either, of the heel injury that affected him in India during the first half of England's winter itinerary, and which he accepts he must manage carefully now. He was smooth and rhythmical and if there was any discomfort he hid it well.
His performance was some consolation for Mick Newell after the loss of his leading wicket-taker, Andre Adams, to an injury that will keep him out at least until late May.
"Stuart took a bit of time to get going when he came back to us last season but he has not been too long without playing since the last Test in New Zealand and I think that's important for him," Newell said.
"He has hit the ground running this time and he has another chance to bowl against Durham next week, after which you'd like to think he will go back to England in some nice form before the first Test.
"He bowled with pace, too. I know that spell with the new ball today was against lower order batsmen but it was still quick, and it was well controlled and well directed."
Centrally contracted England players inevitably see little action for their counties but Broad seldom gives Nottinghamshire less than full value. Saturday's wickets took his tally to 65 in 12 Championship matches, with winning contributions in five of them.
He ended Derbyshire's hopes of avoiding a second defeat after their capitulation at Lord's last week. Behind by 187 on first innings after James Taylor's measured century, they managed to dig in for a while on the final morning, at least against the old ball. A half-century from Dan Redfern in a stand of 79 with David Wainwright gave them respectability after resuming five down for 143, although they always seemed unlikely to survive unless rain intervened.
There was not much in the pitch for the quicker bowlers at that stage and it was left largely to Samit Patel to probe away with his left-arm spin in search of a breakthrough.
It all changed after a sharp shower forced the players off the field for 15 minutes, during which time Nottinghamshire decided they would take the new ball. When play restarted, Broad bowled a full first delivery that beat Redfern for pace and pinned him leg before. In his next over, he had Wainwright caught behind off a brutish short ball he could only play in self-protection, before hitting Tom Poynton on the foot, again plumb in front, with the next ball.
Some more sustained rain followed, causing a 90-minute stoppage following lunch. But Broad continued as before, striking again with another toe cruncher that sent Tony Palladino limping back to the pavilion, quite literally. Harry Gurney finished things off by bowling Jon Clare, which left Nottinghamshire needing only 43 to win.
There was a minor disappointment when Alex Hales, who had batted with such discipline in the first innings, surrendered early but Michael Lumb and Ed Cowan completed the job in short order. Derbyshire lick their wounds and head next for Yorkshire, who dispatched Durham, the next opponents of Nottinghamshire, when they will have Broad and Graeme Swann at their disposal.