Friday, 10 July 2009

Dull day but here comes the Jones boy...

Today's play at Northampton on the face of it was of the somewhat pointless variety that would have had the advocates of more 20/20 saying "I told you so".

Last night I suggested that there might have been a morning of declaration bowling followed by a run chase, but a closer look at the Division Two table reveals the reason for the somewhat turgid final day.

Only twelve points separate Derbyshire in second from Northamptonshire in seventh place. The game against Gloucestershire that starts on Sunday is huge, with the home side currently eight points clear of us at the top. Why should Derbyshire risk defeat in a close league, especially after most of the first day was lost to rain?

As it was, James Pipe had a good knock and the County managed to make 500 before a token declaration. The biggest problem now is getting people fit and with question marks over the fitness of Graham Wagg and Nantie Hayward, John Morris has moved quickly to sign old boy Steffan Jones (pictured)on what is initially a month's loan.

A few weeks back I suggested that Jones must have regretted his move to Somerset as he has never really settled or won a regular place on a batsman's wicket. The 80-plus wickets that he took for us in 2006 must seem a distant memory after pounding up and down the Taunton tracks with little return, but what we will all remember Jones for is a man of unquenchable enthusiasm and effort. Whether bowling at 11 o'clock or 5.30pm, Jones ran in at great pace and with no little skill. His addition to the bowling ranks is more than useful as we enter a key part of the season and I'm sure that most people will applaud the move.

Once again it speaks volumes for John Morris' contacts book. With Tom Lungley suspended and Jon Clare feeling his way back from a shoulder injury, the seam bowling ranks were, if not exactly like Mother Hubbard's on a bad day, starting to look like she'd not done a big shop for some time...

Anyway, tomorrow I'll do a preview of the Gloucestershire game at the picturesque Cheltenham College Ground, but for now, adios amigos.

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