Country Images Magazine North Edition November 2017 - Page 39

Derbyshire and Middlesex players share a joke during the prolonged break for rain at Queen ’ s Park . From left : Jack Young , Bill Edrich , Les Jackson , Derek Morgan , Cliff Gladwin , Fred Titmus and Guy Willatt .
Play began 15 minutes late at Queen ’ s Park in difficult light on a pitch described as damp and easy paced . Uncharacteristically , Jackson ’ s first delivery was a long hop which Dewes hooked to the boundary . Gladwin soon made one move in slightly to bowl Robertson and Jackson got the occasional ball to kick . Such a delivery accounted for Dewes , the ball flying up off his bat and dropping on the stumps . Then a magnificent diving catch by Dawkes , who took a ball from Gladwin very low and far to his right , accounted for Brown at 17 . In his opening spell , Jackson ’ s figures were 10- 8-6-1 when he was relieved by Morgan and when rain forced the players off for lunch Middlesex were 23 for three , with Edrich 15 .
Play resumed at 2.25pm with the pitch , completely sodden and beginning to cut up , barely fit for play . At 32 , Jackson had Delisle caught behind and at this point the slight rain which had persisted since the lunch interval became heavier and at 3pm the players , slow hand clapped by some frustrated spectators , left the field . Edrich , “ playing immaculate defensive cricket ”, was on 18 and the Derbyshire bowling figures read : Jackson 14.4- 9-11-2 ; Gladwin 18-11-16-2 ; Morgan 4-3-5-0 , Middlesex 32 for four after 36.4 overs .
The figures tell the tale : Jackson and Gladwin on the kill , the hawks in the leg trap , Carr , Revill and Morgan , poised under heavy skies , the ever-present threat of rain and Edrich , aged 38 and with another tour of Australia in the offing , battling away with great courage and skill . The pangs of personal disappointment were sharp that day as play was called off and the homeward journey undertaken in heavy rain and they were not assuaged by Thursday ’ s repeated pitch inspections and mopping up before everybody gave up at 5pm .

Opportunity snatched away

Several Derbyshire players recalled , in later conversations , the acute disappointment of opportunity being snatched away , particularly as Surrey and Yorkshire were able to win their games elsewhere . Of course , there was no guarantee that Derbyshire would have beaten Middlesex , who included seven men who played for England in their side . Edrich was still there - he was to make an unbeaten 208 at Queen ’ s Park two years later - and Alan Moss , John Warr , Don Bennett , Jack Young and Fred Titmus might have made life difficult for their batsmen – but the feeling was that the visitors would have been dismissed for less than a hundred and enough runs would have been scraped together to allow Jackson , Gladwin and co . to do the rest .
Donald Carr had fond memories of Edrich :
“ When I was 18 , I played for England in a Victory Test at Lord ’ s against the Australians in 1945 and I was very nervous when I entered the dressing room . It was dear old Bill Edrich who really put me at ease . “ Come and sit next to me here ,” he said . He was a really nice chap , a lovely hearted man and I was grateful to him for the rest of my career . That day at Queen ’ s Park he gave a text-book masterclass in defensive batting against Jackson , Gladwin and Morgan in very miserable conditions .”
Decades later , Guy Willatt spoke at a cricket dinner of Edrich ’ s sportsmanship at Queen ’ s Park :
“ To this day , I remember the keen disappointment felt by the players and the spectators but the overriding memory is of Bill Edrich ’ s attitude . The ground staff did everything they could to get the match started on the second day but there was never any chance of this happening . We left it to the umpires to decide and I remember Bill saying ‘ Look , it ’ s your match ; we are prepared to play if it is all possible .’ He was a tremendous fighter and a wonderful sportsman .”

Derbyshire finished third

By Friday the Derwent at Derby was between three and four feet above its normal level and no decision could be reached in Derbyshire ’ s next match at Trent Bridge . Staying in the rain-sodden Midlands , Derbyshire were again held up at Grace Road , Leicester , declarations leaving them 147 in 88 minutes but the task was beyond them . Meanwhile Surrey won at Worcester in two days to clinch their third consecutive title . Derbyshire finished third – and would , indeed , have needed to have won their last four matches to take first place .
At Chesterfield , the scoreboard ’ s infuriating 32 for four had remained in place until common sense prevailed and the match was called off , a mocking example of the exasperation and enchantment which Championship cricket can provide and of what might have been . 32 for four in 36.4 overs , Edrich 18 not out . It was hardly T20 and two hours seven minutes of play merited a mere 22 words in the 1955 Wisden ’ s match report . But it contained cricket which made the ultimately futile journeys worthwhile and which remains in the memory .
CountryImagesMagazine . co . uk | 39
Derbyshire and Middlesex players share a joke during the prolonged break for rain at Queen’s Park. From left : Jack Young, Bill Edrich, Les Jackson, Derek Morgan, Cliff Gladwin, Fred Titmus and Guy Willatt. Play began 15 minutes late at Queen’s Park in diffi cult light on a pitch described as damp and easy paced. Uncharacteristically, Jackson’s fi rst delivery was a long hop which Dewes hooked to the boundary. Gladwin soon made one move in slightly to bowl Robertson and Jackson got the occasional ball to kick. Such a delivery accounted for Dewes, the ball fl ying up off his bat and dropping on the stumps. Th en a magnifi cent diving catch by Dawkes, who took a ball from Gladwin very low and far to his right, accounted for Brown at 17. In his opening spell X۸&\H\\\H L B MLH[H\[Y]YH[ܙ[[[Z[ܘYH^Y\ٙ܈[ZY\^\H ܈YK]YX MK^H\[YY] \H]H] \][H[[Y[[]\ \[HH܈^K] ̋XۈY[\H]YZ[[]\[HYZ[XY\\Y[HH[[\[X[YHX]Y\[] HH^Y\[\YHYB\]YX]ܜYHH[ YX 8'^Z[[[XX[]HY[]BܚX]8'K\ۈ N[H\\\H[H\\XYXۈ M BKLLKLY[ N LLKLML[ܙ[ LMKL ZY\^ ̈܈\Y\͋ݙ\˂HH\\[H[NXۈ[Y[ۈH[ H][BY\ \][[[ܙ[\Y[\X]HY\H]\\\[X]وZ[[YX YY [][\\و]\[XH[BٙH][]^H]ܙX]\YH[[ H[و\ۘ[\\[Y[\H\]^H\^H\[Yٙ[HY]\\^H[\Z[[X]HZ[[^H\H\XYYH\^x&\œ\X]Y][X[ۜ[[[\YܙH]\XH]H\]\Kܝ[]Bۘ]Y]^B]\[\\\H^Y\X[Y []\۝\][ۜHX]B\\[Y[وܝ[]HZ[ۘ]Y]^K\X[\H\\^B[[ܚ\H\HXH[Z\[Y\[]\Kو\K\H\›X\[YH]\\\H[]HX][ZY\^ [YY][Y[^YY܈[[[Z\YKYX\[\H HB\XZH[[X][ ]]YY[&\\YX\]\ H[[[[\ۈ[] X[[[Y]]\ZY]BXYHYHYH[܈Z\]Y[8$]HY[[\]H\]ܜ[]HY[\Z\Y܈\[H[Y[[Y[[]HY[ܘ\Y]\[XۋY[[ˈH\ ۘ[\YۙY[[ܚY\وYX'[H\ N H^YY܈[[[HXܞH\]ܙ8&\˜YZ[H]\[X[[ NM H[H\\H\\[B[\YH\[K]\X\[YXX[B]YH]X\K8'YH[]^YH\K8'HHZY H\BX[HXH\ Hݙ[HX\YX[[H\ܘ]Y[[H܂H\و^H\Y\]^H]]YY[&\\H]HH^ X›X\\\[Y[]H][YZ[XۋY[[[ܙ[[\HZ\\XHۙ][ۜ˸'BXY\]\^H[]H]HܚX][\وYX8&\œܝX[\]]YY[&\\΂'\^KH[Y[X\HY[\\[Y[[HB^Y\[HX]ܜ]Hݙ\Y[Y[[ܞH\و[YX8&\]]YKHܛ[YY]\][^H[™]HX]\YۈHXۙ^H]\H\]\[B[Hو\\[[ˈHY]H[\\\XYH[B[Y[X\[^Z[8&]8&\[\X]H\H\\Y^BY]\[XK&HH\H[Y[\H\[Hۙ\[ܝX['B\\\B[\Y\HY^HH\[]\H\]Y[YH[\Y]XݙH]›ܛX[][[X\[ۈ[HXXY[\\\x&\^X]][YK^Z[[HZ[\[ZY[\\\H\BYZ[[\]ܘXHY ZX\\X\][ۜX][[H M [Z[]\]H\\^[ۙ[KYX[[H\^Hۈ]ܘ\\[^\[Z\\ۜX]]H]K\\\HH\Y\$[[ [YY ]HYYY]HۈZ\\\X]\ZHHXK]\\H[ HܙX\8&\[\X][ ̈܈\Y[XZ[Y[XH[[[[ۈ[H]Z[Y[HX]\[Yٙ H[[™^[\HوH^\\][ۈ[[[Y[X[\[ۜ\ܚX][ݚYH[و]ZY]HY[ ̈܈\[ ͋ݙ\YXN] ]\\H [\][Z[]\و^HY\]YHY\H ܙ[H NMMH\[&\X]\ܝ ]]۝Z[YܚX]XXYHH[[X][H][H\^\ܝ[H[X[XZ[[HY[[ܞK[R[XY\XY^[K˝Z