If four day cricket and two divisions has given County cricket a shot in the arm, the game at Edgbaston must have had a placebo administered because at the end of day two it is hard to see where a positive result can possibly come from.
Having crawled to 476-9 from over 145 overs of batting, Derbyshire responded with a more fluent (but there were close fields set) 83-0 in reply from 22 overs by the close. Only Ian Salisbury showed anything like aggression for the Bears, although Ian Trott showed admirable powers of concentration in making 181 in just over six hours of batting.
Here is the problem with a lot of county cricket, with soporific tracks emasculating even the most penetrative of bowlers (Langeveldt) who bowled 26 overs in taking 2-59. He needs one more to reach 50 for the season but must be seriously pleased not to have to bowl on this every other game. It must be the same feeling encountered by Stef Jones in moving to Taunton, a lot more work than the tracks he had at his disposal in Derby.
Our first target tomorrow will be the 327 to avoid the follow on so there's 244 more required after the positive start made by Buck Rogers and Bozza. It gladdens my heart to see two youngsters of the age and ability of Borrington and Redfern in the Derbyshire side and is testimony to the work being done in the Academy and Seconds.
The problem is that I fail to see how we can win this game. If we batted brilliantly tomorrow and made 120 a session, we'd close at 440 or thereabouts, still behind. On what we have seen so far the home side are keen to avoid defeat here so are unlikely to set anything attainable for us in the last innings. So unless we collapse in spectacular fashion (it has been known) the last day is likely to be as exciting as a rave featuring the music of Perry Como and Val Doonican.
It would suit Warwickshire, but with their next two matches being against Worcestershire and Essex (the latter without Kaneria who is now out for the season) they may yet have reason to regret the negativity that has been a feature of their tactics in this game. essex are now back in the race after thrashing a pitiful Leicestershire side today. How did that shower beat us in the Pro 40?
Finally, congratulations to Chris Rogers in becoming the latest to pass 1,000 runs for the season. He is currently seventh leading scorer of the season and nine more runs tomorrow will leave only Marcus Trescothick, HD Ackerman, Jacques Rudolph and Stephen Moore ahead of him. Another 76 will see him pass the excellent Rudolph and if batting conditions stay as they are he has every chance of doing that.
Well played Chris!