At the end of an absorbing first day at Derby, our boys will be pretty satisfied with their day's work.
There was a hard earned century for skipper Wayne Madsen and attractive fifties for both Wes Durston and Daniel Redfern. Meanwhile Ross Whiteley, Martin Guptill and Jonathan Clare all made valuable contributions and 362-9 represents a good day, even if at one point, at 250-3, it looked like being even better.
I was delighted for the skipper, but anyone who didn't see this coming needs a trip to a well known high street optical store. He's a class act and once he got through to lunch I had a feeling that he would cash in during the afternoon. Durston too appeared in good nick and might be a little annoyed that he didn't go on to the century mark himself.
The visitors will not be unhappy at clawing things back, but Derbyshire now have runs on the board and importantly, with bad weather likely to interrupt the next two days, have scored their runs quick enough to enable a positive result to be possible unless it is especially bad. Four an over on a track that offered something for bowlers was a very good effort.
Paul Borrington failed today and I had no doubt that there would be comment on that before the evening had passed, but anyone can get out early, before feet, hands and eyes are in full coordination. To suggest that we now need to sign someone to partner Guptill at the top of the order is bizarre in my humble opinion - sorry mate. Even if Karl Krikken shared the views of a small minority that Bozza needs to be dropped, we still have two other openers, Matt Lineker and Chesney Hughes on the staff! More to the point, given that players are now contracted for the season, who would we sign?
Also keep in mind that when Martin Guptill finishes next month that we may need to change the order a little anyway to accommodate Usman Khawaja, unless the plan is for the Australian to go in first this year. I do get the feeling that there are purported fans out there waiting for Borrington to fail, just so they can have a moan. and it is patently unfair on a local boy who never gives it away, whether it is good or bad conditions for batting.
Speaking of signings, I'd an early e mail today suggesting we should sign Ajmal Shahzad after his release by Yorkshire. I'm not sure what's gone on there, although if the lad retains England ambitions he must surely be vexed that his club have signed an overseas quick in Mitchell Starc who will presumably take the new ball with Ryan Sidebottom, leaving him as first change. It is an odd move, a short sighted one and in its swift and abrupt method a typically Yorkshire one.
I don't see it happening. For one, he will want top division cricket and for another, as a player of England experience, he will cost big money. Equally, do we really need another seamer at this stage? With Footitt, Turner and Evans (not to mention Higginbottom) outside the team, who are we going to leave out in Palladino, Groenewald and Clare?
No, the lad will likely end up at Somerset, who have money to spend and an injury list so bad that the physio has installed a revolving door.
Finally tonight, Greg Smith's torrid start at Essex continued today with another cheap dismissal. That's just forty season runs for Smudge so far and he has a long way to go to convince the locals of his talents.
Unlike our lads, who have done well again today. May tomorrow bring a few more runs and plenty of wickets...