A few years ago, in 2019, Matthew Fisher suffered one of those days at Chesterfield when he broke his left thumb and dislocated his right shoulder during the same T20 game. Today, he had another one of those days – but for all the right reasons,
He claimed an exceptional first-class career best 5-30 to help put Yorkshire in the box seat after day one of their LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Derbyshire.
Fisher was reminded of that day as he waited to speak to the media at the end of the day. He laughed knowingly and somewhat ruefully.
The highs and lows of sport, hey!
Today, the 25-year-old was outstanding, making the very most of the new ball in helpful conditions alongside new ball partner in crime Ben Coad, who claimed three wickets to bowl Derbyshire out for 111 on the stroke of lunch. Yorkshire later responded with 272-5 at close, a lead of 161.
It was the third five-wicket haul of a first-class career which currently stands with Fisher on 99 wickets.
“Early on in the season, I wasn’t happy with how my rhythm was and how I was clicking,” said the England quick. “But I feel like I’ve worked pretty hard at it and was glad to see the rewards today.
“There was a bit of seam and swing – just enough really.
“When you walked on the pitch this morning, your spikes were going in. It looked like it had been watered quite a bit and hadn’t dried out yet.
“We thought it was the perfect time to bowl first.
“Usually, you’d look up at bright sunshine and think, ‘We should bat’. But it was pretty good from our captain and coach that they saw it was a bowl first wicket.”
Coad and Fisher bowled beautifully in tandem, reducing Derbyshire to 24-6. They claimed three wickets each in that spell, Coad coming from the Pavilion End and Fisher up the hill from the Lake End of this ground.
“There was a bit of extra bounce my end, which was good,” said Fisher.
“Coady’s great to bowl with because he hardly goes for any runs. You’re always building pressure.”
Fisher was asked if he could ever remember being involved in a game where the opposition were bowled out before lunch on day one.
“I’m not very good at remembering stuff,” he said, before praising a superb batting performance in response.
“Jordan Thompson’s your man for that – he remembers stuff from Under 11s and 12s when I don’t have a clue. But I don’t think I’ve ever played in one like that.
“At lunch, I said to the lads that I knew we could bat well on it, but I didn’t think we’d score at the rate we did. Credit to the batters for building the partnerships. We didn’t let them settle.
“We just want to keep building. All batting points for 450, we’ll look to do that.
“We’ll just try and build the lead as much as we can and let the sun bake on the pitch and Dom Bess even comes into it. There’s no rush. We’ll try and score as many runs as we can.”
Despite Yorkshire’s position of overwhelming strength, they know all too well that games can change. So hard work is the order for the next three days.
“We’re certainly not taking it for granted,” he said. “I’ve been saying through the T20s that I feel like we’re carrying on winning because we know what losing feels like.”
Fisher was also asked about the possibility of breaking into this summer’s Ashes squad to play his second Test, his first since March 2022.
“I did have in the back of my mind at the start of the season trying to bowl well,” he said. “But I feel like there’s a lot of bowlers in that squad, enough for five Tests.
“You never know if something stupid happens. But I’m just concentrating on winning games for Yorkshire.”
And on how his body is holding up this season after a frustrating few years, he added: “I’ve had niggles quite a bit, but I think that’s sometimes in my head.
“It can be tough when you’ve had so many injuries – you feel anything that comes up and can overthink it.
“Sometimes that shows with me running in at 70 percent. The more games I play, the more confident I’ll get.
“Today was pretty much as close to 100 percent as I could be. Not playing the T20s has helped me stay fresh.”