Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Derbyshire v Northamptonshire preview

Sorry about the lateness of the blog tonight but I've been up a ladder painting all day, also known as acquiring brownie points to those in the know!

While I've been doing the Peakfan equivalent of the Sistine Chapel in our living room, I've thought a lot about tomorrow's game - essentially about how much I'd like to have been there.
Still, I hope to make the decisive game against Essex all being well, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that results in between times go our way and make that one something special.

Both sides have injury problems tomorrow. As pretty much everyone expected, Graham Wagg sits this one out and to be honest, I'd be surprised if we saw much more of him this year. A shoulder injury takes some recovery and if that is the case it is a massive blow.

Nonetheless, it also presents an opportunity to someone else and Derbyshire go into the game with the following 13:

Chris Rogers
Wayne Madsen
Garry Park
Greg Smith
Wavell Hinds
Dan Redfern
James Pipe
Chesney Hughes
Jonathan Clare
Tim Groenewald
Steffan Jones
Mark Lawson
Nantie Hayward

The top eleven could well be what takes the field, although Nantie Hayward could be preferred to Jon Clare. If that is so, it would mean a first class debut for Anguillan Chesney Hughes, who has being doing well with bat and ball in the Second XI. He is the latest to stake a claim to the spinning berth and can surely do no worse than Mark Lawson, who has struggled to take wickets this year. With Jake Needham out of favour at present (despite six wickets for Ockbrook at the weekend), Hughes has an opportunity to show what he can do. A stylish all-rounder, I think fans will like what they see and I'm sure it won't be his one and only appearance. D'ya get it? Chesney...one and only... I'm wasted me!

Northamptonshire have yet to announce their side, but look set to be without influential skipper Nick Boje with a back injury. With Monty Panesar in the Test squad, Andrew Hall is likely to be skipper. The key wicket is likely to be that of Stephen Peters, so often the thorn in Derbyshire sides. He has always scored heavily against us and removing him will be key to our chances.

Yet if the weather stays favourable I think we can win this one. There's light rain forecast for the last three days so we look like being truncated to some extent, but this is a pretty good Derbyshire side. To be fair, I think some of them don't realise how good they are, or could potentially be. A good spinner and a strike bowler would make a huge difference to the side, but where we get them is another question.

Elsewhere comes the news that from next year we will be known in one day circles as the Derbyshire Falcons. We were rubbish as Scorpions (no sting in the tail) and only slightly better as Phantoms (many said we didn't have a ghost of a chance). Perhaps now we'll prey (I'm in form tonight!) on unsuspecting opponents.

Here's to a good one tomorrow. The boys can do it!

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