Derbyshire have to settle for a draw as weather intervenes
Warwickshire and Derbyshire had to settle for an LV=Insurance County Championship draw at Edgbaston after a potentially intriguing run chase in the final session was scuppered by yet more bad weather.
Facing a victory target of 213 in 41 overs in the last session, the home side was just 25 balls into their pursuit when snow began to fall. It was a relatively brief flurry, but another followed to end a contest which had been plagued by wintry weather on each of its four days.
For Derbyshire, a draw was due reward for their dogged resistance on a final day which they began in serious jeopardy at 71 for five, just 39 ahead. Sixth-wicket pair Matt Critchley (83, 158 balls, 11 fours) and Harvey Hosein (78 not out, 145 balls, 11 fours) dug in to add 113 in 36 overs and others then chipped in so that the visitors were finally all out for 244 just before tea.
As the sun at last came out on the final morning, and batting conditions eased, Warwickshire were held up by Critchley, who batted impressively for the second time in the match, and 24-year-old Hosein. Their alliance was finally broken in mid-afternoon by Liam Norwell who jagged one back in sharply to Critchley to win an lbw appeal.
The obdurate Hosein received further support from Fynn Hudson-Prentice (21, 28 balls) in a stand of 35 before the latter edged Will Rhodes to wicketkeeper Michael Burgess.
Michael Cohen and Ben Aitchison then contributed only three runs apiece but each ate up nearly 20 valuable minutes as Derbyshire battled hard to inch towards safety. Craig Miles removed them both, thanks to catches by Sam Hain at second slip and short leg respectively, before Sam Conners edged Norwell behind.
Oliver Hannon-Dalby ended with five for 76, his eighth haul of five-or-more wickets in a first class innings, having not added to the wickets he took on the third day.
Warwickshire were left needing 213 in a session, a testing equation in a game in which runs have never come freely. They began in measured fashion, reaching seven without loss from 4.1 overs, but then the bad weather, which haunted this match throughout, returned to have the final say.
Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman said: "We lost the toss on the first morning and were inserted and batting was tricky then, so we did extremely well to have 200 to bowl at today.
"It was a great partnership in the middle for us. Critchley played beautifully in the first innings and backed it up today under immense pressure with the game situation. I was really proud of our players today.
"We felt we had a chance of winning totally, early wickets might have changed the game. We knew if we got a couple early and worked our way through the order we thought we could wrap it up but unfortunately the weather hampered those opportunities so we take the eight points and look ahead.
"I am very happy with the bowlers and how they have started the season. They’ve had great run outs and look good ahead of the long season. It’s important we keep remembering that our unit is young and it’s got a lot of talent but keep remembering the context of which they are in. We’ve all got the experience and the talent so we are in a good position to go and win games or cricket."