Saturday, 12 July 2008

Derbyshire v Leicestershire day 2

After another poor batting display, our bowlers have pulled us back into this game.

Once again, the wonderful Charl Langeveldt has changed our fortunes with an exemplary spell - how often have I written that this summer? The burly South African took three more wickets and now has 28 at just 19 runs each in the Championship this summer. Kolpak or not, he is without doubt one of the best bowlers to represent the county in many a year. On the rare occasions that he doesn't take wickets he commands respect. It crossed my mind, watching the scattergun Proteas attack at Lords yesterday, that they could have done with him to just keep an end quiet. Ntini and Steyn were especially erratic and I wouldn't swap Langeveldt for either of them.

Graeme Wagg also bowled with great discipline and while Jon Clare was more expensive he retains the ability to take wickets. If they can come out tomorrow and keep them down to around 170 (ideally less) we have a good hold on the game.

Of course, much depends on the batting next time around. A lead of 30-40 is important in a low-scoring game, but only if we reinforce it with a total or around 250. I can't imagine the visitors would fancy chasing over 250 in the last innings and it may be that a smaller total could be enough.

We could do without run outs, thanks Wavell, but Leicestershire have been soporific in their batting approach and I'd have to think that a more aggressive, but not reckless approach might bring dividends. On a track like this, wicket balls come regularly so let's make hay - if the sun shines...

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