Another good day for the boys and especially Jon Clare, who is having the sort of game that is normally experienced in comics...
After his first century for the club yesterday, Clare took 5 wickets today to complete a memorable double and leave us on top in the game.
However, the amount of time lost to weather suggests that a result will be hard to force tomorrow, especially with further showers forecast tomorrow. If a result occurs, it almost certainly will be contrived. Perhaps the captains will agree tonight for the home side to declare and Derbyshire to set a target sometime after lunch tomorrow. It is hard to see how a result can come about otherwise as the wicket is simply too good for batting and a massive improvement on previous years here. Its funny what happens when you no longer have a decent spinner...
In other news today, after securing the services of Greg Smith, John Morris has now sealed a first professional contract for Danny Redfern. I've seen the youngster on several occasions now and never been less than thoroughly impressed. He is organised, compact, very fluent off his legs and a fantastic prospect. Personally I would like to see him given opportunities with Paul Borrington next season and to play alongside better players like Wavell Hinds, who appears to be a man keen to work with youngsters and pass on his experience. We have signed him for the next two years and I hope we see him for many years in Derbyshire colours.
Finally, news that a young 17 year old fast bowler, Atif Sheikh, has been called up for England Under 17s to play New Zealand. A new name on me, but full credit to the youngster and to the coaches at the club who have helped him to get to this standard. I don't know about everyone else, but all these talented youngsters have got me very enthusiastic about the medium term future of the club.
See you tomorrow!
PS Only a handful of players have previously taken five wickets as well as scoring a century in a match for Derbyshire.
George Davidson did it twice, Harry Bagshaw and Harry Storer once each, Sam Cadman three times. Those fine all rounders Garnett Lee, Les Townsend and George Pope also did it pre-WW2, but it has only been done on four occasions since then.
The first was by Kim Barnett in 1991, then Ant Botha in 2004 and "Pop" Welch in 2005.
Now Jon Clare. He should be a very proud lad tonight.