Debutant Saafyan Sharif hopes to retain place as Derbyshire start cup campaign with win

Billy Godleman
Billy Godleman

Derbyshire debutant Saafyan Sharif said it was a great way for him to start as he picked up two wickets in the county’s impressive Royal London Cup 57-run win over Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Two weeks after suffering a heavy Specsavers County Championship defeat in Birmingham, Billy Godleman’s side exacted revenge with a resounding victory of their own in the shorter format.

Godleman led the way with a career-best 137 (116 balls, 12 fours, three sixes) as Derbyshire piled up 357 for eight, their highest List A total against a first-class county, before dismissing the home side for 300.

Sharif said: “I really enjoyed my debut and it was great that the team started with a win.

“We got a good total on the board and then the way (Duanne) Olivier opened the bowling and got the two wickets to put them under pressure was really important.

“Then we maintained the pressure and contained them really well during the middle period and picked up wickets along the way which is really important. That made it easier for us to finish the game off at the end.

“Now we will go to Worcestershire and try to play as well as that again. Hopefully I will be selected and get the chance to contribute with ball and bat. To get a good win and for me to pick up two wickets is a great way to start. I feel a little bit more settled now and hopefully the next game will be easier for me.

“I think there are a lot of players in the Scotland squad capable of playing county cricket. In the past, not many have, but you can learn a lot playing at this standard and improve your game so it is definitely worth having guys playing in county sides. Playing against this standard of players can only make you improve.”

Opener Godleman received excellent support from Ben Slater 69 (66 balls, ten fours), Wayne Madsen (58, 44 balls, three fours, four sixes) and Matt Critchley (35, 18 balls, three fours, two sixes).

With the home faster bowlers expensive, medium-pacer Jonathan Trott caused most inconvenience, taking four for 65.

Warwickshire’s reply was then carried by Sam Hain who struck a classy 108 (101 balls, 11 fours, one six), his sixth List A century in just 30 games. But whereas Godleman’s innings was well-supported, Hain’s was not and a Derbyshire attack, including debutant Sharif bowled, with collective discipline to close out a convincing win.

Warwickshire batsman Sam Hain said: “We probably let them get 20 or 30 too many but I would back our team, with our batting depth, to chase anything. Unfortunately, it wasn’t our day.

“Barks played really well at the end and on another day the shot he got out to would have gone over the boundary and then we are on the way to knocking that total off. But we’ll regroup and be ready to go again at Yorkshire on Sunday.

“Our white-ball cricket over the years has been very good and we have played some really good championship cricket this season so things are definitely going in the right direction. It just wasn’t our day today.

“My white-ball cricket has been good for a couple of years now, I’ve got a decent game plan and know how I want to go about it. It was just a little but frustrating not to get the team over the line but there are plenty more games to go and we will try to put it right next time.”

Put in, Derbyshire openers Godleman and Slater made good use of excellent batting condition to build a stand of 129 from 116 balls. Madsen then joined his captain to add 99 from 84 balls

On the ground at which he scored a high-class championship century two weeks earlier, Madsen was soon flowing again until he fell lbw to Jeetan Patel.

As Godelman and Critchley swung freely, the bowler who imposed most control was the sixth used - Trott. He had Critchley stumped then dismissed Aaron Hughes, who reverse-swept to short third man, and Luis Reece, caught at mid-off.

Trott applied a temporary brake to the scoring rate but Godelman struck him for 16 in three balls before perishing to Adam Hose’s direct hit from mid-off.

Trott’s fourth wicket arrived when Sharif pulled to deep square but a punchy unbeaten 26 from 18 balls by Daryn Smit levered the total above 350 in the final over.

Warwickshire’s reply was soon slogging uphill after Duanne Olivier removed both openers in his first nine balls. Ed Pollock, on his List A debut, chipped to mid on and Trott gloved a pull.

Hain played sweetly but Critchley turned one inside Ian Bell’s drive to win an lbw decision. Hain and Hose (33, 32 balls, three fours, one six) added 75 in 64 balls but Hose then sent a return catch to Ravi Rampaul and Tim Ambrose chipped Hughes to mid-off.

Warwickshire fell further and further behind the clock and when Hain was caught at long-off off Reece, the lower order was required to find 148 from the last 15 overs. Despite Keith Barker’s merry unbeaten 48 (34 balls, six fours, one six), they failed.