When these sides met at Lord's in 1981 in the first 60-over final sponsored by NatWest, an extraordinary match ended with the scores level and Derbyshire winning by losing fewer wickets. A repeat here yesterday would have required Northamptonshire, having conceded the highest score made against them in the competition, to exceed the record winning total for a side batting second, which was always an unlikely proposition.
In the event, they never had even the faintest sniff once Devon Malcolm had torn out half their batsmen for 29 by the 12th over. Half-centuries by Jeremy Snape and Tony Penberthy ensured at least that the county's record lowest total was not threatened but it was, none the less, a dismal effort from a side who had hoped to inject some meaning into a wretched season.
Malcolm, unsurprisingly named man of the match, finished with competition- best figures of 7 for 35 as Northampton- shire subsided to 180 all out in 48.1 overs. Centuries from Chris Adams and Kim Barnett, two of the players at the centre of Derbyshire's recent internal problems, had enabled their side to climb to impregnably high ground, even after being inserted and losing two wickets inside seven overs.
The pair set aside all other distractions to play at times quite imperiously against a Northamptonshire attack that became ragged rather too quickly. Adams soon perfected his timing on a good-natured pitch and confidently reached 50 off 54 balls.
With fine shot selection and placement, he turned that into a 112-ball century that included 10 fours, its only semblance of a blemish a driven six that just beat the outstretched arm of Mohammed Akram at long-on. He and Barnett added 183 in 39 overs before Adams perished going down the pitch to Rob Bailey, the most successful Northamptonshire bowler with 3 for 55 on a day in which their pace quartet gave away 21 runs in wides.
Barnett, whose appeal against disciplinary action imposed by Derbyshire is to be heard at Lord's tomorrow, completed only his second NatWest century off 148 deliveries before a reverse sweep off John Emburey came to rest in Mal Loye's grasp at backward point.Reuse content