Innings defeat confirms Derbyshire relegation
Warwickshire 391 for 9 dec (Woakes 152*, Chambers 58, Groenewald 4-92) beat Derbyshire 103 (Chanderpaul 52, Barker 5-55) and 120 (Woakes 3-36) by an innings and 168 runs
Derbyshire were able to begin planning for next season when their relegation to Division Two was confirmed on the stroke of noon. Tony Palladino, in pain from a blow on the finger inflicted by the Warwickshire bowler Boyd Rankin, signalled to his last-wicket partner, Mark Footitt, that he could not continue.
His retirement hurt confirmed Derbyshire's dismissal for 103 in the first innings, which meant that even were they to somehow bring about the most unlikely of victories, from 288 behind, they would not have enough points to overtake Nottinghamshire or Somerset, irrespective of the result at Trent Bridge.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul made 52, preserving the stand with Tom Poynton for the sixth wicket, unbroken overnight, for 55 minutes before he was leg-before to Keith Barker, against whom he had hit nine of his 10 boundaries, appearing to tuck his bat behind his pad a little.
The first innings subsided in a little over six overs after that. In the circumstances, even with professional self-respect at stake, it was hardly a surprise that their motivation for the follow-on was not as it might have been.
It didn't help that they were facing a quartet of Warwickshire pace bowlers - including one just named in England's winter tour plans, two who should have been and one who believes he may one day earn a call up - who were themselves fully committed, with the possibility still alive that they might finish third in the Championship table.
Derbyshire's fate was sealed when Palladino wandered off, examining the ring finger on his left hand that was later confirmed as broken. By 2.50pm, bowled out for 120 in 29.1 overs second time around, they had lost the match.
Jeetan Patel claimed the last two wickets in the only seven balls he bowled in the match, applying the coup de grace by bowling Poynton and Tim Groenewald to end some brief late resistance, but it was the skill of the seamers in helpful conditions that set the sides so far apart.
Barker finished with 1 for 19 to go with his 5 for 55 in the first innings, raising the left-armer's tally of wickets for the season to 46 despite missing five matches through injury. His omission from any level of England's winter programme is as puzzling as that of his team-mate Chris Woakes, who added 3 for 36 to his classy unbeaten 152 with the bat.
There were two wickets for Boyd Rankin, who will be with England in Australia and gave evidence of the pace and bounce he will be eager to unleash from November onwards, and one for the other member of the pace quartet, Maurice Chambers, who went to the West Indies with England Lions in 2011 and hopes to reinvigorate his international career.
Chambers, who has spent the last month on loan at Edgbaston after being released by Essex, will be offered the chance to follow Varun Chopra and Chris Wright in making the move from Chelmsford permanent, Warwickshire's director of cricket, Dougie Brown, confirmed. "He has come in and taken 14 or 15 wickets in three or four games and is somebody ready made to play first-team cricket and would be an outstanding addition," Brown said.
"Hopefully the evidence we have of turning guys' careers around - Wright and maybe Chopra being two examples - to the extent of knocking on England doors, will be something he sees as quite enticing."
Wayne Madsen, the Derbyshire captain, would be another player coveted by Division One clubs were he not under contract for another two years. Relegation was a bittersweet experience for him, given that he walked back to the pavilion for the final time as the leading run scorer in the division, with 1221 runs.
"It has been the best season I have had personally and to get relegated at the same time is a tough pill to swallow," he said.
"Compared with the first 10 games we played, by the last six we have competed a lot better, but it was too little too late. At the start of the season, we felt three games would be enough to keep us up, but we lost too many games, missing out on the points for draws and the bonus points we might have accumulated.
"We gave the senior players who were left out of the side in the second half of the season a good chance to get the runs and take the wickets and while there will always be times for every player where they find things a bit difficult, with us it was just too many at the same time.
"We found there were patches in games where we let out guard down a little bit and would have bad sessions that cost us games. In Division Two you can sometimes get away with it and get back into a game but Division One sides don't let you off."
Relegation will prompt interest in head coach Karl Krikken's future, too, but Derbyshire's chairman, Chris Grant, said the 44-year-old former academy director is safe.
"Krik is on a long-term contract," Grant said. "We will have a meeting on the 17th October when we will reflect on the season but I see Karl being part of this club in the long-term.
"We have a long way to travel to become a sustainable first division county and if we keep chopping and changing in terms of direction we're not going to make any progress, so we have to hold our nerve, go back to Division Two, take some lessons from Division One and rebuild.
"But I'm certain Karl will be here, and the coaching staff, with my support."