Nothing to play for but pride tomorrow for Derbyshire, but we can and should set Essex a stiff target in the afternoon.
With three good wickets gone, including Chris Rogers, Derbyshire will be looking to Garry Park (who I thought battled really well today) and Wavell Hinds to push their total to a 300 lead tomorrow -and then some. The danger is that Danish Kaneria could run through us and leave the visitors needing a sedate 250-plus. This evening he looked very threatening and it made fans wish we had a bowler as dangerous in helpful conditions.
Still, over 300 would be a tough chase and if Essex got them they would deserve their promotion berth. I firmly believe that we should make things difficult for them, though and would be disappointed if we let them go for a sporting total.
On to other things and I was really annoyed today at comments on 606 referring to Wavell Hinds as being "lazy". Just because Wavell is a languid-moving Jamaican, it does not mean that he is lazy.
Indeed, I have it on good authority that Wavell is one of the best trainers at the club. Yes, he might have hoped for better returns with the bat and I wouldn't dispute that he isn't the quickest in the field or between the wickets. Yet Wavell has been a model pro at Derbyshire and has been one of the first in to training every day. His preparation for matches has been an object lesson for younger players. I'll be the first to say that his first innings here was not a thing of beauty and yes, he is a slow starter. Yet Wavell doesn't tend to give it away unless it is in the chase for quick runs. When I look back on my lifetime of watching the County, Wavell won't go down as one of the greats, but he's a long way from the worst.
It annoys me when people, from the safety of a computer and supposedly fans spout nonsense like that. There was an appalling comment on the excellent In Morris We Trust earlier this season that earned the man behind it a fair bit of grief that he didn't deserve, the comment not having been made by him. It was a personal attack on a player and both unnecessary and uncalled for.
If you are a fan, you should be behind your team and accept them, warts and all. I've had many more bad days as a Derbyshire fan than I've had good, but I have never nor would never resort to a personal attack. I will say if I think someone is not up to the mark, or has played badly. I don't think, for example, that Mark Lawson is a good enough bowler for Derbyshire, but that's not to say that the guy hasn't tried his best.
Anyway, rant over and soon we'll be at the end of another season. I hope we can finish on a high and we need a good morning tomorrow to make that happen. Then its Glamorgan on Sunday and then a long winter till it all happens again - even better - next year!