Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Same old same old

Another night of 20/20 and ultimately another disappointment as Derbyshire were easily beaten by Durham despite posting a competitive total.

The difference between the two sides again came down to the respective starts to innings. We elevated Graham Wagg as a pinch hitter but, like a similar idea with James Pipe before him, it didn't work. With Chris Rogers poor run continuing in this form of the game, we needed Stuart Law and Wavell Hinds to produce and they both batted well, Law in particular looking good after a cameo from Greg Smith.

150 is always a challenge with half-decent bowling, but only Tim Groenewald and new man Nantie Hayward can have any satisfaction in their work last night from the bowlers. One would have hoped that the bowlers might have picked up something from the World 20/20 and bowled the right lines and, even more importantly, the right length. If a batsman has the room to swing his arms in this cricket you can go home as most will punish you. The ball either has to be directed in at the pads, making him do all the work, or it needs to be up in the blockhole so that they cannot get under the ball to score quickly.

With three games to go, we have as much chance of progressing in this competition as I have of riding next year's Grand National winner. Don't get me wrong, I still maintain our performances are improved from last year's debacle, but John Morris is bang on the button in today's Derby Telegraph. At present we either bat well or bowl well but seldom do both. For us to be in any serious way competitive in this form of the game we need someone who can give us a quick start and then to find at least one more bowler who can actually rein in the opposition batsmen, rather than going for 12-18 runs per over. Easier said than done, perhaps, but until we get this in hand, we'll only be a competitive, rather than winning team.

Lancashire on TV tomorrow night. Although we're only playing for pride, I'd like to see us perform in front of the cameras for once, rather than freeze like rabbits in a car's headlights. The players ARE good enough, but they just need to show that now.

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