Leus Du Plooy’s final game in charge of Derbyshire concluded with a gallant effort that fell just short of victory. Derbyshire set Glamorgan a challenging target of 384 runs to win on the final day within 70 overs. Despite employing eight fielders around the bat in a concerted effort to secure wickets, Derbyshire eventually declared one over short at 5.37 pm as the game settled into a draw, with Glamorgan at 135 for 6. The South African batter, Du Plooy, who is set to join Middlesex next summer, aimed to engineer a result in his last fixture for the club and secure their first win in Division Two for the year. However, the team finished sixth in the table, while Glamorgan claimed the fifth spot.
Despite the draw, there was a silver lining for the visitors in the form of Luis Reece’s outstanding unbeaten century. Reece secured the Derbyshire record for the most consecutive fifties in first-class cricket, notching up his fourth successive first-class century against the Glamorgan attack this summer. This achievement took him to seven successive half-centuries, surpassing the records of Leroy Wright (1905), Stan Worthington (1928 & 1935), and Peter Bowler (1992). Reece’s feat also matched his previous best performance while playing for Lancashire and placed him in esteemed company with batters like George Tyldesley, CB Fry, Tom Hayward, Wally Hammond, Don Bradman, Len Hutton, Bill Edrich, Bobby Simpson, and Dilip Vengsarkar, who scored seven or more successive 50s twice in their careers.
Reece’s personal milestones continued to accumulate as he amassed 590 runs in the Championship against Glamorgan for the season. His overall total against them this summer reached 659, including a score of 69 in the One Day Cup. Crossing the 1,000-run mark for the season, Reece became the first batter in County Championship history to score four successive hundreds against the same county, surpassing the record of three in a row which had occurred 51 times before.
The match’s narrative unfolded with Derbyshire resuming overnight at 68 for 0 and already holding a lead of 217 runs. The visitors made swift progress, with Harry Came and Reece contributing to a partnership of 132 before Came was bowled by Kiran Carlson. Brooke Guest’s brief stint ended as Carlson claimed a second wicket, leaving Derbyshire at 146 for 2. Reece continued his prolific form, reaching his century and putting on 88 for the third wicket with Du Plooy. Derbyshire declared at 234 for 2, setting Glamorgan a target of 384 runs to win in 70 overs.
Glamorgan, faced with the challenge of scoring at 5.5 runs per over, had a sluggish start and struggled to improve. Zain Ul-Hassan and Eddie Byrom’s opening partnership of 48 was disrupted when Ul-Hassan became spinner Alex Thomson’s fifth victim, trapped lbw for 19. Byrom was then bowled by Zak Chappell, making it 62 for 2. Carlson’s lbw dismissal further set Glamorgan back at 72 for 3. Chappell removed the dangerous Colin Ingram, reducing Glamorgan to 79 for 4. Despite a rearguard action by Chris Cooke and Dan Douthwaite, who batted together for 15 overs, Derbyshire couldn’t land the decisive blows, and the match concluded in a draw.