So Bournemouth triumphed in the Twenty/20 final at Derby yesterday. To some extent, I was quite pleased. Old rivalries die hard and we can't have a Nottinghamshire side win at Derby...
More seriously, Ockbrook didn't turn up after Ault's dismissal, though they had the rough end of some very poor umpiring. First, star batsman Matt Lineker was given out caught behind when he wasn't even close. It was disappointing to see pressurised appealing in such a showpiece and while it was a good take by the keeper, it was a shame to see his histrionics afterwards.
Then Trevor Smith was caught at deep mid wicket having launched into a pull from a chest/head high full toss which should have been called as a no ball. In between John Owen and Matt Cassar never came to terms with accurate bowling and Ockbrook were never at the races.
Ockbrook's bowling was poor too. There was some decent batting, but little sign of bowling to a field and Jake Needham bowled some very poor stuff in his spell.
The Cuckney professional from South Africa, Richard Stroh looked like a decent player, but I'd go no more than that. He plays his cricket at second tier level in South Africa and has a decent, not spectacular record. He looked a better player against Ockbrook than Bournemouth, when he should have been leg before first ball and tnen had a lot of luck thereafter. There is a huge gulf between good players at this level, good players at Second XI County and good players in County cricket. For every Wayne Madsen there are 50 who aren't quite good enough.
It was good to listen to John Morris in the commentaries though. He explained that the key to Twenty/20 was to hit the ball for four (a no brainer you might think) but if that wasn't possible to work it into gaps for two and if that couldn't be done to get a one. When you think about it, if you hit 50% of balls received in a Twenty over innings for a single, then 25% for two, then 25% (30 balls) for four, a team would post 240! Even hitting just ten per cent for boundaries and the rest as above would give you 168, a total defendable on more occasions than not... unless we're bowling like we did in this year's competition.
It shows where Derbyshire's improved Twenty/20 batting came from. This year we post 175, 129 (batting second to win), 158, 131, 127, 130, 153, 164, 165 and 164. Decent batting for the most part and all a repeat next year would need to win a few would be some controlled and accurate bowling.
Which brings us to Chris Rogers in the Derby Telegraph today. Four good pieces on Derbyshire today, the most interesting (for me) being that Rogers is "almost certain" to be back and will be keeping in close contact with John Morris over the winter.
Rogers said that we need a strike bowler and a spinner this winter and few would argue. I've been saying as much for the past few weeks and would also hope we can get another seam bowler and perhaps one more batsman. Don Amott also said in another piece that they were trying to sort extra playing funds for John Morris, which is encouraging.
My guess (only that) is that we have lost Telo, Birch, Stubbings and Hayward from the wage bill and may also lose any or all of Lawson, Lungley and Hinds. Some of that capacity will have gone on improved deals for Park and Smith (quite right too). What we don't know is where the Langeveldt and Law money is. That may have covered Wayne Madsen's signing and Steffan Jones return, or there may still be money spare. Either way, one assumes that John Morris has a reasonable budget for new players and based on his record last winter, I'm confident he will produce some good signings to warm the cockles of our hearts this winter.