Hants head to Lord's after Derby defeat

Hants head to Lord's after Derby defeat

Hants head to Lord's after Derby defeat

First published in Sport

Hampshire head to Lord's hoping to lift the last trophy of the season after failing to prevent Derbyshire being crowned LV= County Championship Division Two champions this afternoon.

Jimmy Adams's side lost by six-wickets at Derby today.

The home side, who sealed promotion to the top flight yesterday, easily chased down a target of 196 in only 41.5 overs to clinch their sixth four-day victory and a £135,000 cheque for winning the title.

After Usman Khawaja's unbeaten 72 and Ross Whiteley's violent 38 not out from 30 balls took them to victory at 3pm, the team celebrated in front of the pavilion while Hampshire set off to Lord's for tomorrow's Clydesdale Bank 40 final against Warwickshire.

The visitors went into the final day with a chance of helping Yorkshire pip Derbyshire to top spot but they could only add another 56 runs to their overnight total of 142 for 6.

Much rested on Bilal Shafayat who was unbeaten on 52 and the early signs were encouraging as he and Chris Wood frustrated Derbyshire's attack for the first 11 overs of a blustery morning.

Wood sensibly played the supporting role as 35 runs were added until he went for a lofted drive at Wes Durston's off-spin and was superbly caught by Paul Borrington diving full length at deep mid-off.

But the wicket Derbyshire wanted to open up both ends came two overs later when Shafayat (81) pushed Durston towards midwicket and set off for a single that was never on and was run out by Whiteley's return to wicketkeeper Tom Poynton.

The end came swiftly as David Balcombe was lbw to David Wainwright's arm ball and David Griffiths drove Durston to cover to leave Derbyshire a minimum of 77 overs to reach their target.

Skipper Wayne Madsen and Borrington started confidently but there was a pre-lunch wobble when two wickets fell in consecutive overs.

Borrington was well caught low down at first slip by Jimmy Adams as he pushed at Griffiths and Madsen fell to what was the last ball of the session when he was bowled off his thigh pad by Liam Dawson.

But Khawaja and Durston came out clearly intent on finishing the job quickly and they plundered 25 from four wayward overs from Sean Ervine before Khawaja drove Dawson over long on for six.

They added 67 in 13 overs and although Durston was lbw for 23 trying to whip Griffiths through midwicket, Khawaja took Derbyshire closer to the finishing line when he cover drove Griffiths for his ninth four to reach fifty off 51 balls.

The cheers of the home supporters were temporarily silenced when Dan Redfern was caught at leg slip off Dawson with 53 still needed but they found their voices again when Whiteley pulled Dawson for six and then drove Michael Carberry for two more maximums.

It was Whiteley who clinched victory in the grand manner with his fifth six, a slog-sweep off Dawson, to put the seal on one of the most memorable seasons in Derbyshire's history.

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