Cricket: Barnett and Tweats still standing firm at finish

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The Independent Online
Yorkshire 267 and 267

Derbyshire 473-3 dec and 64-1

Derbyshire win by 9 wkts

Yorkshire batted yesterday as though there were no tomorrow, which of course was true as far as this season is concerned. They went down with only a handful of guns blazing, though, and Derbyshire fittingly comfortably won a game that was already earmarked for a place in their history.

The epic second-wicket partnership of 417 between Kim Barnett and Tim Tweats was not only the highest in the county's history, but the biggest against Yorkshire this century and, significantly, the second highest ever against a county whose considerable bowling strength down the years has contributed to their winning more titles than anyone else.

It was remarkable that during the 105 overs the partnership lasted Barnett offered only one fiercely difficult half-chance, when 20, while Tweats, who has been trying to make his way in the game in a difficult season and was not even sure until recently if his services would be retained, batted flawlessly in making 189 which was his maiden championship century.

There have been only a handful of partnerships of four hundred or more in county cricket since the war, which made it all the more curious that this one came just 24 hours after Graeme Hick and Tom Moody's 438 for Worcestershire. Derbyshire's previous highest was the 349 put together at Trent Bridge in 1949 by the late John Eggar and one-time Test match umpire Charlie Elliott, now 85, who was among those present yesterday.

After the usual photographs in front of the scoreboard, Derbyshire declared which denied Barnett, whose unbeaten 210 had occupied 325 balls, the rare distinction of becoming the first player to bat in one innings on all four days of a championship game.

On this pitch, Yorkshire could probably have dropped anchor and saved the game with few alarms, albeit very tediously. Instead the bat was thrown cheerfully from the start and the entertainment was rich.

Ian Fisher, whose championship debut this was, looks capable of maintaining Yorkshire's tradition of unearthing slow left-arm spinners who can bat, which dates back to Wilfred Rhodes and did much to deny Derbyshire their first innings victory over these opponents since 1879. Barnett and Tweats were together at the end and everyone agreed that was how it should have been.