Saturday, 2 August 2008

Thoughts on the week...

Hello again everyone, here I am after a week in sunny (yes really) Scarborough.

Purely by accident (of course!) we found a pub with Sky TV and a table with an excellent view of the game for our evening meal.

The meal was pretty horrible, but the game gave cause for encouragement. OK, the bowling looked fairly toothless (Langeveldt apart) but it was a flat track and the difference at the end was Bopara's treatment of Graham Wagg in one fearful over.

Derbyshire batted well but sadly no one went on to a really big score. Chasing 300 someone has to post three figures to give you a shout, but Rogers, Hinds and Clarke, though batting well, didn't quite go on long enough.

As for the Championship match at Chesterfield, Langeveldt again appears to have bowled superbly. To be honest, I'd be more surprised if he didn't now as he has been a real gem. The batting again flattered to deceive before Jon Clare and Greg Smith turned things around. In the end the weather was the winner and the loss of James Pipe was the main talking point. His batting, together with that of Chris Rogers and Jon Clare, has been crucial this year and his loss will be felt beyond doubt.

Full credit to John Morris for quickly signing up Tom New from Leicestershire. The talented keeper-batsman averages over 30 in first class cricket but gets few opportunities to keep wicket with Paul Nixon the regular incumbent. Born in the next village to where my parents live in Nottinghamshire, he is a fine young player who can open the batting if required. At 23 he is midway between Fred Klokker (who is too expensive to play) and Tom Poynton who is a fine talent but too inexperienced at this stage.

It was also great to see Dan Redfern make a big century for England Under 19s. I've not been as excited by a young Derbyshire batsman since the early days of Kim Barnett and few of us will complain if he "only" does as well as he did. I fully expect him to play for England in time and only hope that he shows loyalty to the county that gave him his chance.

So to tomorrow and the Pro 40 v Surrey. One never knows which Surrey will turn up. On their day they bat brilliantly, but their bowling is very erratic and the batting is equally likely to fold. The Chesterfield track and short boundaries may appeal to their powerful batsmen so we will need to be at our best to beat them - as we must if we are to be seen as serious contenders in the competition.

More stories tomorrow, including a fluke meeting during the holiday that will interest you - I hope!

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