Match Preview: Essex v Derbyshire


Essex v Derbyshire

LV= Insurance County Championship
The Cloudfm County Ground
Thursday 13 – Sunday 16 May
11am start

Essex make a welcome return to home territory when they continue their LV= Insurance County Championship schedule with a match against Derbyshire at The Cloudfm County Ground commencing on Thursday.

Three successive matches on the road has seen Essex lose two and draw one and they start the clash with Derbyshire just one place off the foot of Group One after the five matches played so far have produced just the single win when they overcame Durham at Chelmsford.

The home side have so far collected 52 points, 12 more than Thursday’s opposition who have only played four games. Pace-setters are Nottinghamshire with 73 points, 6 ahead of Warwickshire who visit Chelmsford next week. Both those sides have won two of their five matches.



Hear from McGrath:

The defeat at Trent Bridge was the first time that Essex has lost two red-ball matches in the same season since 2018. Essex Head Coach Anthony McGrath said:

“It’s never nice losing but we have not been good enough with the bat in either innings. We had a chance when we had them 80-4 to try to limit their lead in the first innings but we couldn’t do that.

“In the last two years we have been good at being consistent and controlling the game and though we have pulled ourselves out of mires in the past, like against Durham when we were bowled out for 90-odd in the first innings, you are not going to be able to do that every time.

“This format means that if you lose a couple of games early on you can find yourselves under a bit of pressure but if you win a game, the picture can change pretty quickly at this stage.

“With the amount of character we have in that dressing room I’m confident we can put it right.”

Injury/Absentees News:

Essex have named a 14-man squad with Ben Allison, Feroze Khushi and Sam Cook added to the team that played against Nottinghamshire.


Former Essex and Middlesex batsman Billy Godleman is Derbyshire Captain although he missed their previous fixture after struggling to overcome a groin strain.

In his absence, 37-year-old Wayne Madsen took on the skipper’s role of a side that combines experience and emerging young talent.

One to Watch:

One of the up-and-coming Derbyshire prospects is Matt Critchley, who was named as the PCA Player of the Month for April following his impressive start to the 2021 campaign.

The all-rounder has been in brilliant form with bat and ball so far, scoring one century, four half-centuries and claiming 15 wickets in the LV= Insurance County Championship. His 483 runs have come at an average of 60.37, while his tally of leg-spin victims includes a five-wicket haul against Worcestershire.


The two teams last met in red-ball cricket in 2016.

At Chelmsford back in May, Nick Browne hit a career-best 255 and was supported by Dan Lawrence who struck 116 before the home side declared on 538-7. Derbyshire were made to follow-on when they were dismissed for 280 with Ravi Bopara returning 5 for 49 but Essex were unable to force the victory as their opponents reached the conclusion of the match on 261-4 with Billy Godleman contributing 75, Hamish Rutherford 68 and Chesney Hughes 66 not out.

In the return clash at Derby in August, Essex won by an innings and 62 runs. Browne’s remarkable love-affair with the Derbyshire bowling continued as he posted 229 whilst Tom Westley contributed 72 and Ryan ten Doeschate 60 in an Essex total of 530-9 declared.

Graham Napier then proved destroyer-in-chief as the home side were dismissed for 165 (Napier 4 for 28) and 303 (Napier 4 for 50). Paul Walter made his Championship debut in this fixture scoring 47 and returning 3 for 44 and 1 for 68 having shared the new ball in both innings with Jamie Porter.

In the 181 Championship clashes between the teams so far, Essex have secured 78 victories, there have been 72 draws and Derbyshire have won on 31 occasions.

Potential Milestones:

Nick Browne has made 99 first-class appearances for the county scoring 5,914 runs.
Adam Wheater requires 2 runs to reach 3,000 first-class runs for Essex.
Jamie Porter requires 7 more wickets to record 350 first-class wickets for Essex.

How To Watch:

Our Live Stream service will be available across all four days of this game from 11am, which also includes player stats, scorecards and clips throughout the day. Access via the Essex Cricket Matchzone is available here.