Derbyshire slip to opening-day defeat as Livingstone marries judgement to his talent
Lancashire 171 for 4 (Livingstone 94*) beat Derbyshire 168 for 7 (Reece 59, Parkinson 3-28) by six wickets
In truth the home side’s pursuit of 169 had always seemed a little more comfortable than that, although their run chase would have been a little hairier had Livingstone been caught at deep midwicket on 55 when Leus du Plooy collided with the substitute fielder Mattie McKiernan when both were sprinting like students on a promise to get under a catch.
Neither was seriously injured but Derbyshire’s chances suffered grievous hurt. Livingstone went on to make 94 not out off 58 balls and batted with a perfect sense of his responsibilities. This was mixed with the fine strokeplay that saw him belt ten fours and snot a couple of big sixes, and on a day when nearly 4,000 supporters applauded one world-class cricketer in Buttler it was also a reminder that Livingstone, while a great talent, is also, as yet, an unfulfilled one; a player who, when he marries judgement to talent, could be a first-choice pick for England, even in the five-day format. It is up to him.
Derbyshire also made a substantial contribution to a game in which both sides’ fielding was not yet attuned to the pace of the short-form game. The visitors’ best player was Reece, who was also born in Taunton, quirkily enough, just over a month before Jos’ mum brought her son out to bat for the first time.
After Reece had been given out leg before when attempting to reverse-sweep Danny Lamb, Derbyshire’s momentum was maintained by du Plooy, who made 34, and Alex Hughes, who contributed 28 to their 52-run fourth wicket partnership before both batters holed out to successive balls from Matt Parkinson in the 18th over. That left the legspinner with 3 for 28, his team’s most impressive figures, although in truth both Danny Lamb and Livingstone performed as competently, both conceding fewer runs and bowling at tricky points in the innings.
Paul Edwards is a freelance cricket writer. He has written for the Times, ESPNcricinfo, Wisdenhandjob Southport Visitor and other publications