Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Derbyshire v Northamptonshire day 1

352-6 a the close. Five half centuries. You beauty!

OK, there were the usual disappointments, with Chris Rogers failing and none of them (yet) having gone on to a hundred, but this was a solid days work.

First up - full credit to Rikki Clarke who apparently dropped himself after a pretty dismal run of form. To be fair to the guy, that took guts and I'm sure we all hope he scores well in the 2nds and returns refreshed for the Pro 40.

Back to the game and well played Paul Borrington. I don't think that he is as good a batsman as Danny Redfern but what he has in spades is guts - chip off the old block there as his Dad was a battler. It was refreshing and pleasant to see a Derbyshire opener still there at lunch and his innings today was total vindication for John Morris' faith in him.

After we lost Chris Rogers early I didn't think we'd make 200, and when we were six down for 211 we could still have gone for under 250. Wavell batted well and Greg Smith, celebrating a new two-year contract looked to be in sublime touch with pretty much a run-a-ball fifty.
Then Graham Wagg and Jon Clare turned the game on its head with a partnership of 141 that was unbroken at the close.

For me, Wagg is a future captain and at his current rate of progress he could yet make international cricket. If there is a winter A tour this year, both he and Jon Clare should be under serious consideration. Mind you, they're probably too young for an A tour based on those who went last year. Steve Kirby and Alastair Richardson, both over 30, for goodness sake...

I'd love to see Waggy make his first century tomorrow - and for that matter Jon Clare too, but for now lets just celebrate an improved batting performance, the first one of the season in the first innings of a game. I would love to see us go on to make 450 tomorrow and then let the spinners loose after Charl and Waggy have hopefully blitzed the top order. Greg Smith bowled a full allocation in the last second team game so we can assume that he may play a part in the attack, either with seam or more likely off spin on what is often a spin-friendly track at Northampton.

Three spinners eh? I don't know about Northants and Derbyshire, this is like South Africa v the India of the 1970's!

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