After a good start to the Essex innings, the weaknesses in the Derbyshire attack were shown up in the final session, when they rarely looked like taking a wicket, with Essex closing on 166-2 in reply to our 474.
It was summed up well by Jeremy Coney, who said that the attack looked "probing" rsther than incisive. It was a fair comment. Graham Wagg bowled a fine couple of spells but was the only one who genuinely looked like disturbing the batsmen. With an array of right arm fast medium bowlers, the quest for something different will occupy John Morris this winter. It was interesting to see that Garry Park is actually a quicker bowler than Jon Clare, which surprised me, but Clare is, while accurate, not back to the bowler of last year at this stage. He probably needs some work in the winter to rebuild his fitness and confidence.
With Northamptonshire bowling out Leicestershire cheaply, there appears to be no way in which we will gain promotion. Essex could still do so, if they win here, but much will rest for them on the next couple of days while Northamptonshire look like winning sometime tomorrow. Our main task is, somewhat cruelly preventing Essex from winning. It will be interesting to see the target we eventually set and if it will be in any way "gettable". So 450 from 50 overs should sort that one...
You'll gather I don't expect us to bowl them out tomorrow. I'd expect them to declare maybe 100 behind, or when they've reached 350, depending on how quickly they score. I may be wrong and the track could sweat in the September morning, but it will be a last day run chase from here.
It was good to hear that Lee Goddard was at the ground this afternoon and, as reported earlier, may well be announced as our new wicket keeper sometime soon. I'm pleased to hear that as he is a good player. He may, of course, just be a huge cricket fan who wanted to see a game, but...
I was impressed by Tom Westley of Essex and I've also been impressed by the umpire, Richard Kettleborough.He's made some very good decisions in this match and I'd see him as an international umpire of the future. I was also impressed by Garry Park at point, who has an excellent pair of hands and is extremely quick to the ball.
See you tomorrow!