After the encouraging performance against Middlesex, a depleted Derbyshire slipped back into old ways with a disappointing defeat to the Netherlands this afternoon.
While Khawaja, Clare, Palladino and Groenewald would probably have made a big difference to the final result, we should still have been capable of beating a team who are regarded as minnows in the world game. Having said that, they would appear to have been toughened up by their recent World Cup exploits, even in defeat, as their bowlers have now shown twice that they are a match for county sides.
Indeed, much of the side is made up of nationals from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand and in Peter Borren, the skipper, they have a good all round cricketer, capable of scoring quick runs and bowling tight overs. No side can ask for more - we could have done with such a player ourselves when it mattered today.
Similarly Shane Mott and Mudassar Bukhari showed themselves to be bowlers capable of keeping a tight line and length and both returned exemplary figures against a side supposedly their superiors.
Having made a dreadful start to our innings it appeared that Wes Durston and Wayne Madsen had steered us to calm waters and a push to victory, but when Durston was dismissed after a stand of 117 in 22 overs the wheels came off, four wickets going down for just twenty runs in five overs at a time when we were meant to be accelerating. Make no bones about it, 69 from the last ten overs with seven wickets in hand should have been a walk in the park.
That only two batsmen made it to double figures in the innings before Steffan Jones late onslaught brought respectability to the score tells its own sorry story. But the fact that we cling tonight to 'respectability' rather than a win says it all really.
This result doesn't end our CB 40 season (despite what some gloom and doom merchants are bound to be saying tonight) but we simply have to do better than this.
Poor. Sorry, there's no other word for it. I hope that this proves to be the low point of the season