A quarter of the way through the Championship season and we are sitting at played four, won two, drawn two.
The next four days will provide our sternest test yet, as some good judges saw Hampshire among the front-runners for the promotion places this summer. Perhaps some of that was based on performances and players of an earlier vintage, when the likes of Cork, Razzaq and Afridi made them one of the best twenty over sides around.
Having said that, they are still a good side and although their new overseas star Simon Katich has yet to fire, there must be good odds to be had that he will be concentrating hard in his two innings here against his old side.
They have announced the following squad for the match:
Simon Katich, Jimmy Adams (Captain), Shaun Ervine, Liam Dawson, Sean
Terry, James Vince, Michael Bates (Wicketkeeper), Danny Briggs, James
Tomlinson, Chris Wood, Kabir Ali and David Balcombe.
Derbyshire followers will remember David Balcombe from his fine display at the County Ground for Kent while on loan last season. That loan period seems to have been the making of him, as he's been taking regular wickets this year. With the experienced yet injury-ravaged Kabir Ali at the other end and support from young talent Tomlinson and Briggs, their attack will ask questions of Derbyshire's batting.
Again though, Derbyshire's attack will ask the same of theirs. I don't see any better seam attacks in this division than Palladino, Groenewald, Clare and Footitt, whichever three take the field. The battle between David Wainwright and Danny Briggs as slow left armers of talent will be fascinating and it is just a shame that tomorrow looks very much like a washout from the forecasts that I have seen.
The Derbyshire squad is much as we've seen in previous matches:
Wayne Madsen (Captain), Paul Borrington, Martin Guptill, Wes Durston,
Dan Redfern, Ross Whiteley, David Wainwright, Jonathan Clare, Tom
Poynton (Wicketkeeper), Tim Groenewald, Tony Palladino and Mark Footitt.
I think this is too close to call, another sign of the progress of our side, as you wouldn't have said that a year or two back. As in the two previous matches the weather may well have the final word, but I'm thoroughly enjoying following the fortunes of our side, one that is doing exactly what was promised pre-season - playing aggressive, fearless cricket.