Friday, 15 August 2008

Kolpak Killers...

Celebration time.... come on!

A thoroughly professional, well deserved and much needed win was wrapped up soon after tea by a Derbyshire side that have put themselves firmly back into promotion contention in so doing.

They owed a lot to their two Kolpak signings. Wavell Hinds (pictured) moved to second place in the club's first class bowling averages with a fine spell that ripped out the Middlesex middle order and then Champagne Charl Langeveldt did for the tail in his own inimitable style. That's 47 championship wickets for the South African who has had an outstanding season. I genuinely cannot remember a bowler who was as dangerous for the county since Michael Holding and then Ian Bishop's spells here. Whenever he gets the ball one expects a wicket and he has rarely let us down. Pop Welch was a willing workhorse, but Langeveldt has been a huge signing for John Morris.

Now time for an admission. I was wrong. No one should be too big to admit that and in recent weeks I've been increasingly impressed by Dan Birch and having pretty much written him off as a county player in the early season, I now think (and hope) that he can go on from here next year and establish himself. His second innings knock seemed pretty impressive and he looked to be in good nick from the moment he reached the crease.

I wrote yesterday that there seemed a greater solidity to the batting recently. I don't think it is the finished article but the emergence of Birch, Borrington and Greg Smith lead me to think that we are perhaps closer than we think.

We now have a Championship break until we go to Edgbaston for a huge game that starts on the 27th. If we can win that one, with Glamorgan, Gloucestershire and Leicestershire still to play, we could yet gain promotion.

It was interesting to see Boyd Rankin back from injury for them in their drawn game against Essex. Four wickets in twelve overs suggests that he still has the ability to get people out. Eighty runs conceded also suggests that he is no more accurate than in his time with us.

Talented he may be, but he ain't no Langeveldt.

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