Sunday, 13 July 2008

Derbyshire v Leicestershire day 3

We fought back well today and managed to earn a small first innings lead, but my bet would be on the draw tomorrow.

Irrespective of what the weather may be, I think that the wicket is too slow for either side to force a result. The scoring rate has been very slow throughout and while both sides will really want the win neither will risk losing. It appears to be easier to at least stay in today and my guess is a draw tomorrow.

Once again we are indebted to superb spells by Charl Langeveldt and Graham Wagg for our lead. Langeveldt does this all the time, while Wagg is one of those who have improved this season, bowling with both greater control and penetration. At one point it looked like the visitors would have a first innings lead, but the opening bowlers broke through and quickly ended the innings.

In reply Chris Rogers opened with, surprisingly, Jake Needham - Dan Birch having a bout of food poisoning for the second time this season. They gave us a steady start until the Australian was caught behind. Dom Telo battled well until he was lbw and it was gratifying to see young Needham battle for nearly 50 overs for a stubborn and potentially vital 36. Although he fell, as did Rikki Clarke before the end, crucially Wavell Hinds remains tomorrow, with Derbyshire 153 ahead and six wickets still to fall.

Another 80 runs tomorrow would leave the visitors chasing the highet score of the match to win. Unless the hitters in the tail come into their own, that will take us until around lunchtime at the rate of scoring so far, leaving us two sessions to bowl out Leicestershire.

Possible, yes. Likely? I'm not so sure. The time lost on the first two days is likely to be the deciding factor here, but if I'm wrong and we force a win I'll not be in the least disappointed!

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