Back to a semblance of normality tonight after a Festival week at work that saw me doing 61 hours...
Anyway, apologies for the later, sporadic and non-appearing posts, but normal service will now be resumed.
Tonight's late two wickets for the wonderful Wagg probably gave us a slight edge going into the final day at Derby, though nothing can and should be taken for granted. Marshall, Gidman and Taylor are all dangerous players and there appears to be no real deterioration in the wicket. There will be a lot of work required to take those remaining eight wickets tomorrow before we can win this one.
There were again positive signs from our batting today, with Greg Smith again highlighting increased maturity. What an asset he should be next season, when he should again be able to add to the seam bowling ranks after his early season muscle tear in his bowling arm. He is a fair off spinner but much better, at this stage, as a seamer.
That's a hard one to answer for Graham Wagg. It was pleasing to see Charl Langeveldt win the Player of the Season award and no one could argue with the impact he has made. Yet Wagg must have run him close. He needs 13 runs from the last match to complete the mini-double of 500 runs and 50 wickets and that is an outstanding achievement. Add in his electric fielding and the fact that he can bowl both left arm seam or slow left arm with increasing skill and we have some player! The greatest tribute I could pay him is that he has taken over the mantle of Graeme Welch and loses nothing in comparison to the modern legend. Derbyshire 2nds over in Birmingham must have had a few thoughtful moments over the decision to let him go. Their loss has been very much our gain.
Tom New also came up with runs when they were needed and the youngster has done little wrong in his spell with us. While he has made a few mistakes behind the stumps, his batting in all forms of the game has been resourceful and solid. He has made no secret of the fact that he would prefer to play as a wicket-keeper batsman than as a batsman only, but he may be worthy of consideration this winter. While Tom Poynton is a player with a future, he has a way to go and New appears to be worthy of an extended opportunity. Realistically he is not as good as James Pipe, but there aren't many around the country that I would swap with the Yorkshireman.
So, tomorrow should be a good day of cricket if the weather stays out of it. May the best team win.
As long as it's us of course..