What a day!
We only lose one wicket in the two sessions of play possible and stretch our lead to 100 after two days, then sign Wayne Madsen on a two-year contract. Then tonight our village team beat a county second XI, which was quite an event in our little cricketing life. Easy too, won with 7 wickets and two overs to spare. Maybe I should start a club blog...
Anyway, I'm really pleased that we have secured Madsen's services for the next two seasons. I jokingly referred to him as "Bradman" last week and while he's not quite in that class, I think we have signed a batsman of very high talent, as he has already proven. Like other players, he'll have days when he fails and that is always more likely at the head of the innings. Yet he has also shown that when he gets in he is prepared to bat for a long time. It is great to see and I'm delighted with John Morris' work.
As for today, we only lost the wicket of Garry Park, for 41, before Chris Rogers and Greg Smith doubled the score with a fine partnership. The skipper has batted with real restraint here, hitting only eight boundaries in posting his highest score of the season so far, while Greg Smith continued his best season with another punishing knock. I understand that Smith was wanting to bat higher and in recent games he has shown the results to justify the decision. Both of the not out batsmen are within range of their thousand this year and that would be an excellent return.
To be fair, Leicestershire are not a great side, but you can only beat what is put in front of you and at present we are on course to do that in this game.
The forecast for Friday is not too good, so Derbyshire will want to be bowling again, I would guess, sometime in the early/mid afternoon with a lead of 250-plus and maximum batting points from the match. Then it is a case of trying to bowl them out as quickly as possible. Easy peasy...
A win here would be terrific and would lay down a marker to the rest of the chasing pack. Northamptonshire are having a very even battle against Kent but a win here would again put daylight between us in second place and the other sides.
Here's to another good day for the boys tomorrow - and ultimate success!
Finally, I enjoyed reading Steve Stubbings comments in the Derby Telegraph today on his time with Derbyshire. They summed up the man that he is and the reason why we will miss him. There may well be better players fill the opener's berth for us in the years ahead, but they'll have to go a long way to be as nice a guy as Stubbo. A diamond of a man and we'll miss that cheery smile around the place.