It was good to see the national press praising a good cricket wicket at Chesterfield and if there were more around the counties like it the four day game would be a far greater spectacle for many.
Of course the down side is that this game finished in three and clubs will not fancy losing additional days revenue on a regular basis. It is a far greater base from which to judge a player, however. David Willey and Dan Redfern, two young players of whom much is expected, both spent good time in the middle in this match and their runs were worth a far higher score on a better batting track. They'll both have learned from the experience though and will go on to better things I'm sure.
Tomorrow the focus switches to the Pro 40. There's been suggestions from various quarters that we should rest senior players and give youngsters a game. I'm less sure that we should make wholesale changes, especially as there's a week's rest after this one for the side.
It may be that Wayne Madsen returns to his club commitments tomorrow, which would leave a place for John Sadler, while we may see Ian Hunter and Jon Clare back in the side, allowing Steffan Jones and Tim Groenewald a rest. It could also be that Chesney Hughes gets his first team debut, having been in the squad for the Northamptonshire game after good displays for the Seconds. For what its worth, my team for the game would be:
Maybe I was a little harsh on Hayward yesterday and I know that a lot of the runs from him came off the edge. Quick bowlers on small grounds and that can happen. Yet I've seen Alan Ward, Harold Rhodes, Ian Bishop, Devon Malcolm and Michael Holding on this ground - all as quick or quicker than Hayward - and rarely going for seven an over. Even Devon, who could be expensive on occasions, would have been unlikely to go for 62 off 9 and it is almost laughable to consider the others doing so. And no, I'm not turning into an old fogey...
Nor, in yesterday's blog did I pay tribute to "Deano" - Steffan Jones, nicknamed after his Australian batting namesake following his recent exploits. His whole hearted efforts yet again came close to bringing dividends. As I said the other day, I'd love to see him here next year and I'm pleased that his loan has again been extended, this time to the end of the season. He's also a top bloke, and we could rely on Steffan to bowl and bowl, usually with considerable accuracy and pace.
Back to tomorrow and Kent last week played most of their second string in the Pro 40 although the presence of the likes of Kemp, Mahmood, Tredwell and Khan made them more than a match for Leicestershire. They are likely to do the same tomorrow, though there is, as yet, no news on their side.
Whether this is the end of the Pro 40 or not, Derbyshire will want to keep a good, positive habits and a win would go some way to erasing the memories of the recent 4-day traumas. It will be a good game and I'll certainly be following it closely.