If Derbyshire manage another win against Gloucestershire tomorrow, they will almost certainly go into the T20 competition in the giddy heights of first place in the County Championship...
I had to pause and read that sentence again. I have, after all, waited four years to write it...
Derbyshire have, as I suggested last night might happen, made one change to their successful side thus far, with Matt Lineker thoroughly deserving a call up after recent Second XI centuries. I remain convinced that Paul Borrington will become a first team cornerstone, but we need to know if Lineker, the stand-out batsman in the Derbyshire Premier League over the past few years, has what it takes to make the first-class game a natural consequence.
As a left-hander he will give a good balance to the opening pairing and make it hard for the bowlers to settle to a line. With three left and three right hand batsmen in the top six, there's a lot of settling required for the opposition attack. Lineker's contract expires at the end of the season and I would like to see Karl Krikken give him an extended run now, the opportunity to establish himself and justify another deal. If he did so it would give a massive incentive to league players and no one would deserve it more. As an over-age player he needs to justify a place with weight of runs, but Lineker is a good cricketer and could well do it.
The Derbyshire squad, with Mark Turner my likely 12th man
Wayne Madsen (c), Martin Guptill, Matt Lineker, Wes Durston, Dan
Redfern, Ross Whitley, David Wainwright, Jonathan Clare, Tom Poynton
(wk), Tim Groenewald, Tony Palladino, Mark Turner
As for Gloucestershire, they have a talented batting side, with Kiwis Williamson and Marshall having good seasons. Alex Gidman has started slowly, but is too good a player to be out of sorts for long. I'm less convinced by their bowling though and think Derbyshire have every chance to make it five wins from eight in this game.
There is a confident edge to the team just now and as long as we keep doing the simple things, win the sessions and continue to work, an already healthy lead in the Championship might even be extended in four days time..
Unleash the Falcons...