There's a more solid look to the Derbyshire side tomorrow. The thirteen man squad announced by John Morris reads:
Morris has yet to decide on a recall for Rikki Clarke, but his recent batting form suggests he should play in a crucial game at Worcester, currently top of the league despite our thrashing them at Chesterfield. Logic suggests he will play, as Smith at 5 and New 6 looks too high for both. I know that the Leicestershire loanee opened the batting for them, but I like the look of him at seven with Clare and Wagg to follow. It looks more promising than the sight of Wayne White at 8 against Surrey, lets put it that way. I suspect he and Dean will miss out, unless the wicket suggests little prospect of spin in which case Greg Smith will be the sole spinning option.
Worcestershire are pretty much at full strength, with an impressive line up featuring the very in form Vikram Solanki and Stephen Moore. That's as maybe, but they've not batted against Charl lately...
Their side is:
D K H Mitchell
S C Moore
V S Solanki
B F Smith
G A Hick
S M Davies
G J Batty
S P Jones
M S Mason
G M Andrew
A very good seam attack with Mason fit again, a player who often does well against us. Their batting is also strong, but the key to success is getting Solanki in early against the new ball. I think he is a player ill-treated by national selectors and a very fine batsman, but a little cloud cover and Langeveldt in his normal vein of form and... well, who knows?
Maybe I was a little harsh on the team last night by writing off their chances this year, but we need a couple of wins in the Championship to stay in the race. That they are good enough is beyond doubt. Their performances against Worcestershire and Warwickshire suggest they can compete against better sides, but the inconsistency is what infuriates all of us. You couldn't say at the start of a day that we'd close at 350-3 or 152 all out. Mind you, we should be grateful for small mercies, as the team I grew up watching offered the option of 120 all out or 170 all out on a good day.
In closing tonight, I hope for a win, naturally, but think this could be a very good game. I'd also like to make an honourable mention for my club side, who beat an Australian Veterans XI on Sunday in a game to mark our 25th anniversary. We won by 42 runs against a side that boasted several former first grade players. Rumours that Peter Moores was watching from his car proved unfounded, but our services are available if the country requires next year!
Come on Derbyshire, let's prove the doubters wrong and win this one.