Classic Chapple

Lancashire v Derbyshire
Click to follow
The Independent Online
Glen Chapple does not need bottle-tops or excessive sweat to make an old ball do extraordinary things and his classic leg-break provided lucid evidence of the increasing threat posed to Derbyshire by spin.

Having been summarily dispatched for two fours in one over, the young fast bowler experimented to the centurion Chris Adams. It was as bemusing and devastating a delivery as Shane Warne's legendary first ball to Mike Gatting in the Old Trafford Test of 1993. It exploded off a good length to loop off the corner of the bat to Mike Watkinson at the gully.

Chapple's stock delivery had also reaped rewards. Watkinson, who had dropped a high flash from Colin Wells at second slip off Chapple, made amends with a stunning low one-handed effort from Philip DeFreitas.

Both batting errors were indicative of the attacking Derbyshire approach in the face of a niggardly accurate Lancashire attack. Wickets for seam bowlers were a bonus as the baking wicket showed signs of deterioration with the fourth day promising a trial against spin.

Dean Jones was the first Lancashire scalp, rocking back to a Watkinson delivery lacking the necessary width for the chosen cut shot and inducing an edge to the wicketkeeper, Warren Hegg. Adams proved more prudent, offering just one difficult chance, a fierce square drive off Steve Elworthy which was grounded by Watkinson at gully before the Derbyshire batsman completed his fourth century of the season.

Elworthy, like Chapple and Peter Martin, was afforded the chance to bowl with fire in disciplined short bursts. The South African's second ball slipped through the defences of Tim O'Gorman and Colin Wells survived a torrid first four balls before opening his scoring with a swept six off Gary Keedy.

The shot was repeated successfully on one more occasion before proving fatal, O'Gorman top-edging Watkinson to Jason Gallian. Derbyshire, lacking the responsible anchor role that Gallian's record-breaking triple century had provided to set a follow-on target of 438, relied on a typical counter-attacking dart from Dominic Cork.

Lofting two straight sixes, he and Karl Krikken erected a thorny obstacle to the chance of Lancashire's first championship victory of the season at Old Trafford and a rare four-day feast for fans used to a fast-food diet of limited overs success.