Derbyshire v Surrey, Derby, 1st day May 30, 2013

Chanderpaul adds to Surrey's problems

Derbyshire 232 for 2 (Chanderpaul 112*, Madsen 92*) v Surrey

You could not fault Shivnarine Chanderpaul's timing, in any respect. On a stage set for Ricky Ponting to ride to Surrey's rescue on his second debut in county cricket, it was the Guyanese who hogged the spotlight, compiling his 10th century in the Championship to encourage struggling Derbyshire to believe that even they might add to Surrey's woes.

Chanderpaul, of an age with Ponting and still performing at the highest level, has played for four counties and now has made hundreds for all of them. His brief with Derbyshire is to make himself difficult to get out, to bring stability in the batting while others less experienced find their feet. It is a skill in which he has few peers. But no batsman makes 10,000 runs in Test cricket simply by digging in. In the right mood, he scores with deceptive speed, cannily finding gaps in the field, rolling the ball into space with shots played with soft hands to facilitate comfortable singles, sending others skimming to the boundary with effortless timing.

This was one of those days and to Ponting it must have seemed all too familiar. Chanderpaul has made 1649 Test runs against Australia, a sizeable proportion witnessed at first hand by Ponting, including four of five hundreds. One of those, on his home ground in Georgetown - with Ponting again in the on-field audience - came off only 69 balls. This one was a little slower but at 116 balls was brisk enough to turn an abbreviated day - only 55 overs were possible after a start delayed by a soggy outfield - into one of Derbyshire's better ones.

Chanderpaul's partnership with his captain, Wayne Madsen, who was closing on a century of his own, had added 203 by the close, a record for any Derbyshire wicket against Surrey, who again look a side short on confidence. After losing Graeme Smith to injury, they need Ponting to fire, and quickly, if they are to pull away from the bottom of the table.

They are not short of ability, but lack consistency. While they may have lost their last Championship match, against Nottinghamshire, their bowlers performed well, albeit in helpful conditions, and Chris Adams, their frustrated team director, saw light at the end of the tunnel. This time they were consistent mainly in that they all leaked runs.

Jade Dernbach was missing, called away by England to cover for Tim Bresnan in the one-dayers against New Zealand should Bresnan's expectant wife go into labour. But Chris Tremlett came in, a like for like replacement in terms of quality, and when his fifth ball hit the top of Chesney Hughes' off-stump, with the batsman neither forward nor back, there may have been a doubt in Madsen's mind over whether opting to bat first after winning his first toss of the Championship season was really the right move.

Billy Godleman made early progress as Tim Linley sought to find his rhythm but then edged to third slip pushing at a ball that left him late, at which point Derbyshire were 29 for 2.

But Chanderpaul was quickly into his stride, getting off the mark by hitting Linley down the ground for four and repeating the stroke to the next delivery, with the same result. It was an immediate indication that he felt comfortable and confident and rarely thereafter did he miss an opportunity for runs.

Momentarily, after passing 50, he got a little bogged down, but when Tremlett became untidy he scored 26 in only a couple of overs and his 67th first-class hundred suddenly loomed closer. His 13th four took him there, driven off the back foot wide of the fielder at cover.

Apart from a chance of a run-out, Chanderpaul offered little encouragement to Surrey, but then again neither did Madsen, who has batted well enough to deserve a first hundred of the season. It may be some time yet before Ponting has the chance to deliver a response.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Brian on May 31, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    Chanderpaul not only is still playing test cricket after Ponting's retirement, as is alluded to in this article, but he actually started playing test cricket before Ponting (as well as Darren Gough, Dominick Cork, Sourav Ganguly, Shaun Pollock, Jason Gillespie, etc). Nonetheless, somehow I still think Chanderpaul will not only end his test career with fewer career runs than Ponting, but, notwithstanding Hughes' disappointment on this occasion, end his Derbyshire career with a lower highest score than Chesney Hughes. Chesney, truly, is the one and only; there is nobody else like him.

  • Cyril on May 31, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    How was Tremlett's bowling in the afternoon? It looks horrible on paper.

    If Surrey are defeated in this game then Adams must walk. The side is his philosophy. Talented young players, like Roy and Meaker, have made next to no progress in the last two years, this is Adams' fault or his appointed coaches.

    It's painfully obvious to regular attendees of The Oval that the side lacks any direction. The selections are muddled and sometimes just wrong. The signing of Keedy was as baffling as the decision to include him as one of two spinners for the first match of the season.

    Adams must go...

  • Dummy4 on May 31, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    Excuse me! Don't bring the mighty Leicester into this. We are a proper club and team, not a cheque book band of mercenaries.

  • Michael on May 30, 2013, 21:26 GMT

    Surrey are going to have to answer harder questions soon.,such as how do they crawl of the mess they are in. The expense of this side means that results have to gained or the policy changed and Adams replaced. It is no good dwelling on the past ,which is done. The future has to be attended to by winning in the present. Touted for the title the present is a sick joke and Surrey might struggle against the likes of Leicester. There is light for Surrey albeit slender in the fact that Derby lost to Yorkshire after posting a good first innings,.Someone willhave to step up for Surrey apart from Burns who has fought a lone hand this year, and Ponting who has only just arrived, personally I would challenge de Bruyn to make a double century after all the chances given him,or expect his cards at the end of the year.

  • Mark on May 30, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    Even at this early stage of the season this match looks like a relegation eliminator, although Somerset may beg to differ in this. Both sides need desperately to win and a draw would be almost as bad as a defeat for both.

    First day honours definitely go to Derbyshire. They are building a position that should protect them from defeat. Surrey, who have such strength in depth in their bowling resources, both seam and spin, are struggling to turn early breakthroughs into sides rolled-over cheaply, despite bowlers like Dernbach and Meaker sporting impressive numbers this season. Derbyshire have an excellent opportunity tomorrow to gain some self-belief and hit the fragile Surrey morale hard. The rest of their season may depend on making this opportunity count. The same applies to Surrey: were they to lose this match, they will feel that getting to the three wins that are usually necessary to have a chance to beat relegation is going to be very tough.

  • Nabil on May 30, 2013, 20:01 GMT

    lol the "tiger" does it again...

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