Cricket: Lively Ambrose proves deadly

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Northamptonshire 529 and 8-0

Derbyshire 211 and 324

Northants won by 10 wkts

CURTLY AMBROSE continued his one-man demolition of Derbyshire yesterday. Fired up and dangerous, he just kept taking wickets.

For starters he cleaned up the Derbyshire first innings, taking the last two wickets to record figures of seven for 48. Having caught the other three this ensured that he had a hand in all 10 wickets. In the second innings he followed up with a further three wickets and pouched another slip catch. When he was involved the game came alive; when he wasn't it drifted towards its inevitable conclusion. Derbyshire, unable to cope, subsided to a 10-wicket defeat.

Following on 319 behind, they started brightly with Kim Barnett taking advantage of some loose bowling from Kevin Curran. He even appeared confident against Ambrose, hooking him for six over the finest of long legs. Aided by the makeshift opener Dominic Cork they raced to 50.

Luck too was on their side. Allan Lamb dropped a simple chance at first slip, Kevin Curran decked an even simpler one at second slip. The third, however, went to hand when Cork edged to Bailey at gully. The bowler, inevitably, was Ambrose.

The game then went through one of its non-

Ambrose phases. Tony Penberthy and Paul Taylor bowled worthily, Barnett and Adams batted stoically. It was almost as if none of the Northants bowlers dared tarnish Ambrose's sequence.

Refreshed by lunch, Ambrose returned to the fray. Barnett played back to him, appeared to get a full bat on the ball but could not prevent it trickling on to the stumps. He had made 50, to add to his first- innings half century. But his team needed much more.

A sparkling stand between Mohammad Azharuddin and Tim O'Gorman gave Derbyshire some hope. Azharuddin contributed a pearl of an innings, stroking an eye-catching 43 off only 49 balls. Now Gower has retired, he is the world's most pleasing batsman. O'Gorman chipped in with a stylish 51, but when they were dismissed, by Cook and Taylor respectively, an innings defeat looked likely.

It seemed inevitable when Ambrose trapped Wells lbw straight after tea and Adrian Rollins went in the next over. However, a plucky seventh- wicket stand between Karl Krikken and Simon Base first frustrated Northants and then ensured they would have to bat again. The pugnacious Krikken made 54 before holing out to long-on off Bailey. The next ball Base, seeing Malcolm at the other end, slogged straight to Curran at midwicket.

Northamptonshire, however, had little trouble scoring the seven required to win.