Cricket: Barnett makes full use of his know-how

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The Independent Online
Derbyshire have their eyes on the Championship after their splendid achievement in finishing second last season but in the meantime, it might be unwise to bet against them repeating their 1993 success in the Benson and Hedges Cup.

Wednesday's victory over Lancashire, the county they beat at Lord's in 1993, put them in a promising position in Group A, the toughest of the qualifying sections, with their last three matches at home. Their coach, Les Stillman, one half of the Australian double act who organised Derbyshire's advance in 1996, is trying to give youth its head in a side captained forcefully by his compatriot, Dean Jones, but his faith in the quality of the more senior players continues to prove the value of experience.

No Derbyshire servant has more of that then Kim Barnett, who will be 37 this summer yet remains invaluable for his match-winning know-how, an ingredient often as vital as raw talent. Barnett's unbeaten 112 at Old Trafford was the cornerstone of a comfortable win against the holders.

Yesterday, he contributed another man of the match performance against Yorkshire, who needed to win to retain a realistic chance of themselves qualifying for the last eight. Having arrested Yorkshire's progress with three wickets, Barnett again provided his side with the substantial batting performance, making 88 as Derbyshire chased 261 to win under a cloudless sky and midsummer temperatures at the County Ground.

Yorkshire, who felt the pitch was good enough to bat first after winning the toss, might have had 40 or 50 runs more had they not stumbled after a promising start. Martyn Moxon helped his captain, David Byas, establish a decent momentum before the latter was leg before to a deserving Phil DeFreitas, who swung the new ball appreciably.

The setback had no detrimental effect on Yorkshire's progress. Moxon and Michael Vaughan now put on 71 in 13 overs, taking advantage of some inconsistent bowling once DeFreitas had taken a rest. Without Dominic Cork (injured) and Devon Malcolm, who was left out, it was not the most experienced Derbyshire attack. Moxon completed a 61-ball half-century but lost his wicket aiming an inelegant swipe at the leg-spinner,Vince Clarke, recruited during the winter from Leicestershire.

This ushered in Yorkshire's new Australian, Darren Lehmann, at last with some practice under his belt, and at 150 for 2 in the 31st over everything looked set for a total in excess of 300.

However, the loss of three wickets for 20 runs in the next six overs upset matters. Vaughan drove straight into the hands of Glen Roberts, the 23-year-old left-arm spinner, falling just short of 50 for the third time in four days. Then Lehmann, wasting an opportunity to build his confidence, paid for a dreadful stroke by giving Barnett, bowling gentle medium pace rather than leg breaks, the first of his successes.

Peter Hartley was another likely to have been wincing over the manner of his dismissal but the arrival of Craig White to partner Anthony McGrath restored Yorkshire's equilibrium and a stand of 69 in 11 overs.

Barnett and Chris Adams opened with 62 in 10 overs as White and Chris Silverwood struggled with their line and an exciting stand of 78 in 17 overs with Gul Khan took Derbyshire to 175 for 3 with 12 overs left but Silverwood's dismissal of Khan with the first ball of his second spell sparked an unexpected hiccup, with three wickets falling in as many overs, including Barnett, who holed out to long-on off the spin of Richard Stemp.

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