Friday, 29 August 2008

Buck's chance to prove me a mystic!

Could tomorrow see this moribund track provide a little bit of cricket history?

With Chris Rogers unbeaten on 237 at stumps and Derbyshire just 14 runs behind, one could be forgiven for thinking a declaration will come overnight, followed by a Warwickshire thrash and a Derbyshire run chase.

Yeah, and I'm actually Brad Pitt and my wife's Angelina Jolie (actually she's even nicer!)

It isn't going to happen that way and so realism should take over. With Warwickshire's stance throughout this game being "what we have, we hold" there will be no last day declaration, unless you count Derbyshire being left 290 from 20 0vers as a declaration. They are ahead of us in the promotion stakes and intend to stay that way. Who can blame them? If the roles were reversed, I doubt John Morris would tempt our opposition with 5 an over for 50 overs.

All of which means that Chris Rogers could tomorrow attempt to break the longest standing individual batting record in County cricket. That's George Davidson's 274 at Old Trafford against Lancashire in 1896, which has been threatened on a number of occasions over the years, but not yet beaten.

The most likely once seemed to be Stan Worthington, who got to 238 and had to retire with cramp, but Kim Barnett, Michael di Venuto and others have all threatened it in recent years, only to get out early the next day.

I'm actually feeling quite good about this one, as in my post of July 8 "Buck Rogers and a quest for centuries" I wrote:

Rogers has a deserved reputation for big scores. A triple century while playing for Northants, a double century against his countrymen for Leicestershire and a piffling 279 for Western Australia in a Pura Cup match. Even allowing for lapses of concentration and the odd good ball, we should now look to him to replicate that for us through July, August and September.
I'll go on record now, and risk looking silly later, by saying that Rogers COULD be the man to break George Davidson's long-standing highest individual score for the county, currently standing at 274.

Last night I also wrote that I thought he could get enough to become one of the top scorers in the country today. At close of play, only Stephen Moore has scored more than Rogers this season and he has 61 more. If Waggy, Charl and Nayan can stay with him tomorrow, Rogers will deservedly enter the record books and could become the top scorer in the country.

If I ran the poll on whether he should stay next season again I suspect the result would be massively different than the 50/50 vote that transpired. With an average of 58 at present he has surely convinced the doubters and with four centuries and seven 50s in 24 innings can be said to have had a very fine season - hopefully with more to follow.

Conversely, in a batting display of solidity, led by Paul Borrington, Wavell Hinds and Tom New, ex-skipper Rikki Clarke only lasted two balls and must surely now be rested. Or dropped, or however you want to put it, but the poor bloke is having a nightmare. One of the Birmingham newspapers yesterday suggested that the Bears may be in for him at the end of season, despite him being under contract. While a player of unquestionable talent, he has massively underperformed this season and while part of me thinks he has to get better next year, the other thinks that the substantial contract that he must be on could be spent in better ways. All will be revealed in time, I'm sure.

So, let's celebrate a job well done tonight and hope that Chris Rogers manages a feat tomorrow that many will have lived and died hoping to see. We'll not be celebrating a win tomorrow, that is for sure, but a new record would send them on to the next game in good heart.

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