Sunday, 12 July 2009

Gloucestershire v Derbyshire day 1

From the rough waters of 119-5 soon after the lunch interval, Derbyshire were steered to a fairly satisfactory total of 326 all out by a superb innings from Greg Smith (pictured), a new career-best from the South African born all-rounder.

Newcomer Wayne Madsen failed to make an impression on his debut, but in fairness to the new boy he generally bats at three or four and as I warned last night, scoring heavily in Second XI is a world apart from facing two Test bowlers in Franklin and Lewis with a new ball. Nonetheless, Park and Chris Rogers saw us to a comfortable 98-1 at lunch.

Then things changed as Lewis and Steve Kirby reduced us to 119-5 before Smith, batting with increasing assurance and partnered well by James Pipe, Graham Wagg and Tim Groenewald, took Derbyshire to their closing total. Successive partnerships of
64, 48 and 90 took us to a total that we can only have dreamed of when the mid-afternoon collapse was in full swing.

It reinforced John Morris' assertion that Derbyshire are a hard side to beat and although the hosts survived until the close at 10-0, we are very much in this match at the end of the first day.

For Smith it was an important innings. He is a far better cricketer than an average in the mid-20's suggests. As a bowler capable of bowling good off spin and seam he affords balance to the side, while his fielding will always be an asset. He has shown that he can build an innings and if we can make early inroads into the Gloucestershire batting tomorrow this could prove to be a very good game of cricket.

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