Saturday, 7 April 2012

Derbyshire v Northamptonshire day 3

For those who remain unaware that I am, in fact, a hip and happnin' dude, I'd just like to say Peakfan's in da house - his own, that is...

In the time it took me to drive up north today, Martin Guptill and Paul Borrington put on the small matter of 213 unbeaten runs against Northamptonshire, effectively making the game safe for the county in the light of tomorrow's weather forecast. It was a terrific effort, requiring considerable concentration and technique against a new ball that swung and asked plenty of questions.

It is, however, disappointing to see some of the comments on the Forum tonight regarding "slow scoring". Everything about yesterday suggested that while staying in was easier than it had been, scoring runs freely was more problematic. Alex Wakely is a talented and attractive  young batsman and his 60 in four hours anchored their innings, even if it wasn't the most exciting innings to watch.

Today, Paul Borrington scored at half the pace of Martin Guptill, yet lets not forget that the latter is an established batsman of international pedigree. Borrington is not yet an established batsman in the Derbyshire team, yet worked hard to ensure that he played a full and vital part in the first double century stand for the county in some time.

When I was walking round the ground the other day, I spoke to a pleasant chap who said that Borrington was too slow in his scoring, a comment that I patiently explained rather missed the point. EVERY team needs a solid opening batsman who will dig in and make the opposition work to dismiss him, making the most of it when they don't. From an excitement perspective it is undoubtedly better if every opening pair was like Greenidge and Haynes, but that doesn't happen too often. This is four-day cricket and a player with the technique, patience and ability to open the innings and bat for a day and a half is a priceless commodity to any side.

For Derbyshire to have a successful four-day campaign we need a solid opening pair and 213 is a strong argument for solid. In the first innings Borrington scored only one in three quarters of an hour, but again one has to look past those figures at a bigger picture. Yes, compared to Dan Redfern's precociously brilliant century it pales somewhat, yet had he not seen off the new ball Redfern may have been in earlier and had a more difficult task. Lets not forget that in his last match, on a difficult wicket on which his team mates struggled, Borrington made 87 and 19 at the Oval. His knock today emphasised that he is coming to terms with the first class game and, as an advocate of the lad's talent for some time, I look forward to a point in the near future where I can say "I told you so".

At the other end Guptill did exactly what we signed him for - led from the front, displayed a straight bat and fine technique and undoubtedly helped his young partner because he's just that sort of man. We are lucky to have this most genial (and talented) of men at the county and I expect him to score a barrowload of runs in all cricket before June.

In the morning, we did well to remove the Northamptonshire tail to secure a lead, especially with Tim Groenewald having a groin strain. Tony Palladino reaffirmed his merits as a new ball bowler and Mark Footitt deserved another wicket after a lengthy bowl at good pace.

The game will be a draw, because the weather will ensure it is so and the pitch is not conducive to forcing runs in the fourth innings. More importantly, with a bowler down we're not going to set any easy target if that forecast turned out wrong. As an aside, we'll need more life in future tracks if we are to challenge for promotion with a young and talented side, that's for sure.

At the end of it all, in short, it was another good day for the Derbyshire boys. Congratulations to Bozza and The Gup - the boys done well, as they say round these parts.


Alan said...

Glad to hear you made it back to Mrs. Peakfan ok. Didn't make it to the match today myself, Mother-in-law came to visit! However, delighted to see Bozza & Guppy gave the 2nd Innings such a great start. Who know's maybe Bozza will become Derbyshire's Boycott!

I keep having this vision of an opening partnership of Borrington & Stubbings (in his prime) - we'd bat for days.

Also I was pleased to see that Footitt & Palladino got some justified reward for their efforts.

Marc said...

I do tend to agree with the main thrust of your analysis of Borrington. Batting was not as easy as it might have been, but he has to learn to accelerate once he has got himself in. At the moment,he gets into such a defensive frame of mind that when the bad ball comes along,he usually ends up tapping it back to the bowler.

I don,t think he will ever be a fast scorer,which for the most part will rule him out for any limited over games. However,i do believe he can establish himself as a four day player.

I take the point about having an opener who can see off the new ball and is hard to dislodge,but he has the shots and now needs to use them more often. Im pleased the lad is showing some good signs and i hope he continues to develop,but if we are serious about playing attacking,aggressive cricket,then all players have to play their part.

I hope i,m not coming across as too critical because that is not the intention. I just feel he needs to develop his game into somthing a little more expansive than he,s shown in the past.

Guptill batted very well,but even if the weather holds out i can,t see a result forthcoming. Still,it,s not a bad start and especially against our boget side.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your regular blogs and for your positive attitude towards the club and players. So much better than constant moaning.
Having seen four days worth of practice and championship cricket over the last week I too see real signs of optimism for the coming season. In particular...
1)Redfern and Whiteley have made excellent starts and their approach has seemed to reflect the "fearless" comment from the coach.
2)The bowling attack has been commendably disciplined and even the bowlers who have been erratic in the past have returned tidy figures.
3)It was good to see Guptill hit form first match and also to see we batted 10 overs of both innings v Northants without losing a wicket.
Fingers crossed for coming months.


Chris said...

Excellent blog once again Peakfan. I was there to watch Guppy and Bozza and one thing the moaners about the slow scoring must think about is that, after 16 overs Bozza was outscoring Gup. With Gup normally being a freescoring player this - to my mind - would indicate that it was not easy to stay in yesterday. I actually really enjoyed Paul's knock (the fact he is a Crewe Alex fan like me helps!!! ;-) ) but he showed application. Too many players (some in the test arena) come in and try to flay everything for half an hour and walk off having thrown their wicket away for a quick 20 - but you can't score any runs back in the pavilion. I hope the weather allows Paul to get to his century today. He needs support as he finds his feet in the team, not moaning about. He obviously doesn't feel great about his strike rate as his Thursday night tweet 'On a lower note my already dwindling career strike rate took another hit today. Not good. #zzzzzzzzzz' would indicate. Get behind the lad 0 he showed application and technique in spades yesterday. Well played Paul.

I'd not seen Guptill bat (aside from his half hour on the first day) and as such had no true idea of his abilities. I felt honoured to have watched him yesterday. He was so obviously a class above and, aside from when he got dropped in the deep, looked like he could bat all week. What a player - how lucky are we to have him!!

Finally from me (sorry it's so long), I've become a member this year for the first time. As a teacher I'm somewhat limited to which games I can attend so grabbed the chance to get to two days out of the first three, matching how many days I attended last year already. Got to say how friendly I've found people around the ground. Although I prefer to sit myself quietly and study batsmans technique etc through my binoculars, I've also had a few very enjoyable chats with people around the ground, both fellow supporters and staff, which has made me feel very much at home.