Played two. Won Two. Stunning performances two. Verdict so far - too good, just too good...
Table-topping Derbyshire. The leaders of Division Two. Doesn't it sound amazing? More to the point, doesn't it feel great to be a Derbyshire County Cricket Club fan just now? We may be little, but by crikey, we're showing signs of becoming perfectly formed...
Here's a story for you. I was working today and when I went back after my lunch Glamorgan were 86-2 and very much in the match. When I went on my break an hour and a half later the game was well won, those last eight wickets going down for just sixteen runs. How the heck does that happen?
I was curious when I got in tonight and checked the statistics. Without a doubt that was a difficult track and Martin Guptill must have wondered what he'd travelled around the world for when he had to bat twice on that. Yet David Wainwright managed to bat unbeaten for SIXTY overs in the second innings for the only fifty in the match, only seven less than Glamorgan's team managed in both innings combined. That, my friends, was a monumental effort of technique, concentration and guts and he can be very proud of such an effort.
Indeed, Derbyshire fans can be very proud of a very special bunch of young cricketers just now. No other Derbyshire team in the last five/ten years would have won that match so convincingly and few would have actually won it at all. We were 44-5 and 34-5 in the two innings and many a side would have crumbled to 70 or 80 all out. There's some very good batsmen in that top five and their turn will come again on a surface more conducive to their talents and when they weren't exposed to the vagaries of a poor surface, a new ball and swing.
As for the bowling, Jon Clare will want to roll that pitch up and take it home. Match figures of 11-57 don't happen all that often to any bowler and for all the wicket offered him help, Clare did the most important thing for any bowler - he bowled it in the right areas. Tony Palladino, always a dangerous bowler irrespective of the conditions, was an admirable foil with six wickets in the match and they and Mark Footitt simply outbowled their counterparts. When you think that Groenewald, Turner, Evans and Higginbottom are outside that eleven, you realise how rosy things look just now.
In the field they were well supported and there was another very good performance behind the stumps from Tom Poynton.
Most people wrote us off as also-rans pre-season. Little Derbyshire, making up the numbers, cannon-fodder for the bigger guns of the county game. Not any more guys, not any more. We won't win every game because no team does, but with a continued level of commitment this group of players could do something very, very special this season. And nobody will be looking forward to playing us in this form.
Well done lads. A fantastic effort once again from each and every one of you.
Keep it going!