Cricket: Derby's gloomy win

Derbyshire 139 Middlesex 114 Derbyshire win by 25 runs
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The Independent Online
MICHAEL SLATER and Justin Langer were in Southgate yesterday under a threatening sky of Duckworth-Lewis grey, but their thoughts must have been on the late-evening flight from Heathrow. The life of the international cricketer offers strange contrasts - from a second-division pyjama knock- about in suburban London to the VIP lounge, back home briefly to Australia, a reunion with the Test squad and on to Sri Lanka.

Middlesex brought first-class cricket back to the handsome North London club ground in Southgate last year, and the current festival is an imaginative one - after a Championship game against Nottinghamshire and two NCL opponents, Somerset and Derby, the week concludes today with a one-day match against New Zealand.

In the gloom and the early rain that reduced the match to 33 overs each, no performer could hold centre stage for long. There was chirpiness without class, although Paul Weekes did his best.

It was spin that dismissed Derbyshire, but honours went not to Phil Tufnell but to Weekes himself, and Keith Dutch. After a brisk start from Slater and Stephen Titchard, no Derby stand developed.

In their turn the home side found themselves penned in by bowling no more impressive than Southgate would expect on a normal weekend. Weekes apart, no batsman could build a score, and Derby duly earned their points.