Sunday, 9 August 2009

Surrey v Derbyshire day 4

It would have been nice if this, my 500th post on the blog, could have been marked by a Derbyshire win.

However, we have to be content with the draw points and I'm pleased that we lasted out the afternoon fairly comfortably to keep very much in contention for promotion.

That we did so was pretty much due to another fine innings from South African Wayne Madsen, who reached a serene second century for the County in an innings that promised much for the future. I listened to the commentary from BBC London (good work guys, you know your stuff and were nicely impartial) and was impressed by the selfless way that Madsen played for the team rather than himself. Having reached 82 by the tea interval, he adopted a "they shall not pass" attitude afterwards and ensured that Derbyshire got through to the points. He now averages 70 after four first class matches and we're very lucky to have landed a young player with such obvious talent.

To be fair, Derbyshire were always unlikely to go for 349 once Chris Rogers had gone first ball, while the loss of Garry Park just before lunch meant someone would have to come up with something extraordinary for a win to be an option. Greg Smith did a good job in the afternoon, but Surrey produced some aggressive bowling and at tea I had reservations about our holding out.

Full marks to Madsen and to Freddie Klokker though. Freddie is a committed cricketer who is maybe just short of top class but is also someone who will battle for anything and everything. In some ways he was a better man for this situation than James Pipe, who might have found it hard to resist having a go at the bowlers as they were digging it in after tea.

At the end of the game, we sit in third place in Division Two, just behind Gloucestershire. Some will see this as an opportunity missed, but I'm quite happy with the result after the final day. Of course, we could really do with beating Leicestershire next and opening up some daylight in the division, but that's a topic for another day.

Well done lads. Good effort.

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