Thursday, 5 April 2012

Derbyshire v Northamptonshire day one

I watched Sachin Tendulkar batting in the IPL yesterday and my Dad and I reminisced about how we saw the little batting genius make his first century in Indian colours, at Chesterfield some twenty summers ago.

Today I saw the first century in Derbyshire colours by Daniel Redfern and while the young Derbyshire batsmen is in no other way comparable to the Indian maestro, his strokeplay today was worthy of comparison with him or any other top player you care to mention. The way that Redfern and Ross Whiteley counter-attacked after lunch was quite breathtaking and total illustration of the aggressive style of play promised by Karl Krikken pre-season.

This, of course, is not all about hitting everything in sight but in marrying shrewd shot selection with sound defensive technique and both young players amply illustrated their talents at the County Ground. Whiteley was very circumspect before lunch but opened up afterwards in an innings that displayed his powerful strokeplay beautifully.

Most other batsmen struggled on a day where batting was never as easy as those two youngsters showed it to be in the early afternoon. Martin Guptill was playing straight and beautifully when he chipped one to midwicket, Wayne Madsen got one that jagged back and seemed to keep a little low and Paul Borrington seemed to be moving his feet well and middling the ball when Jack Brooks got him to edge to slip.

Brooks is a good player, albeit one with a lot to say for himself, with a few verbals in the direction of Redfern and an unnecessary/somewhat silly late bouncer at Mark Footitt. I wouldn't have chosen a bowler of the latter's pace to flex muscles personally and Brooks may be wary of batting tomorrow if Footitt has any kind of memory...

Wes Durston did well for a while but was pinned LBW, while David Wainwright also looked composed at the crease. Later in the innings there were useful runs from Tom Poynton, whose late runs may turn out to be precious in what looks likely to be a low-scoring game. Certainly Derbyshire would have taken an all out total of 286 after being 21-3 inside the first hour.

The value of Redfern and Whiteley's stand was seen as Northamptonshire quickly subsided to 28-3. Tim Groenewald and Tony Palladino both bowled with accuracy and hostility in their opening spells, with Martin Guptill taking a characteristically sharp chance at second slip to remove Newton. Had Redfern managed to cling on to a snick from David Sales, the visitors would have closed at 28-4. As it is, they will approach the morning session tomorrow with some trepidation. With the weather set to be a little warmer, the conditions may be more conducive to swing and the Derbyshire seamers are eminently capable of destroying their innings before lunch.

Mark Footitt bowled with real hostility in the last few overs and, if Sales is removed quickly in the morning, might be a handful for lesser batsmen in the early season conditions. Meanwhile Tom Poynton kept impeccably in that final session and can reflect on a very competent first day as the first choice wicket keeper.

Throughout the day there was a very positive "vibe" around the ground and such a commodity has often been in short supply at the County Ground. It looked a picture and the team seemed far more agile, lithe and "up" for the game than the visitors. I see a season of genuine potential ahead and look forward to reporting on it immensely.

In closing, two final comments. Thanks to everyone I met at the club today for your company and conversation. I enjoyed it immensely and look forward to tomorrow and another day of watching the Derbyshire young guns in full flow.

As the shadows lengthened at the end of the day and the cold returned with a vengeance after the afternoon sun, I watched a golden labrador gambol along the boundary edge without a care in the world. They're perceptive are labradors and I'm convinced that it must have been the guide dog of former Nottinghamshire batsman Mark Wagh, whose pre-season preview in a magazine barely worth mentioning suggested that Derbyshire had no players worthy of reference (I paraphrase, but you get the point).

If Wagh has a semblance of an idea about cricket then such crass comment barely adds credibility to his fledgling reputation as a commentator.

Maybe the dog should write it next time... the Falcons are flying.

Tomorrow, they might soar.


CreweFalcon said...

Excellent review Peakfan. I too was there and felt that I had witnessed something special when Dan turned the ball to leg for 3. The first of many I'm sure.

Big fan of Whiteley and thought he played effortlessly after lunch. The way he picked Middlebrook up for six was mightily impressive. Felt sorry for Borrington who looked like he got stuck in defensive mode and struggled to get out.

Great effort by the bowlers late in the day too. In conclusion, all round it was an excellent - if cold (!) - day.

Come on you Falcons!

Anonymous said...

I too had a very enjoyable day, even if I had to retreat to the warmth of the teabar at one stage. What particularly impressed me about redfern and whitely is that their partnership was made in a pressure situation. At 50-4 we could easily have collapsed to a pretty pathetic total. It will hopefully do their confidence the world of good to have played fluently and taken the team to what looks like a good first innings total.
Good to meet you peakfan and good to see an excellent day of cricket in what will hopefully be a successful season.

Spireite Tim

Anonymous said...

Totally concur with your assessment of the days play Peakfan.
There were some truly positive signs from the young bucks today and its to be hoped that the more experienced cadre back them up as the season progresses.
Never mind Mark Wagh have you read Collins assessment of our prospects on BBC Sport ?
Like yourself and after nearly 50 years of supporting the cause I truly believe we are on the brink of something good !!
Exiled Cestrefeldian

Peakfan said...

Good to meet you too Tim! Sorry I missed you before tea again.

Marc said...

Ironic Peakfan. You,re in Derbyshire and im in Stranraer!. Back on Friday,so aiming to go Saturday.

Seemed like an interesting day,after a dodgy start. I,m really pleased for Redfern and Whiteley. Getting a century under his belt this early in the season could be the making of him. Now we have them on the ropes,we can hopefully knock them out around lunch or early afternoon. A lead of around a hundred should make us clear favourites to wrap it up.

Anonymous said...

Any idea why Clare isn't playing? Strong finish to last year and thought he would be nailed on for this fixture.....