Friday, 7 June 2013

Derbyshire v Durham MCCU day 3

I had an afternoon off today and spent it relaxing with Mrs P on our patio. Our chilled idyll was interrupted by the ringing of the telephone which she went to answer.

She came back out with a smile on her face.

"It's David Moyes for you" she said. "He wants to know if you will be his big summer signing..."

David Moyes is a perceptive man and presumably remembers my skilled left foot from the days when I was a cultured left back in the style of David Nish at Manchester Polytechnic. Mind you, after my bon mot of last night a defeat looked a possibility at one time, as the Durham MCCU side made a remarkably good fist of a second innings that was diametrically opposed to what had gone before.

Full credit to them and it ended up a good work out for the Derbyshire boys, though the end result was still what I expected by a fairly comfortable margin. There were players who did their quest for a first team place no harm whatsoever and Ben Slater simply has to play in the next championship match.

On Sunday the action moves to Leek and a game against an Essex side that packs all the big guns but misfires too often for their supporters comfort. Any side with Bopara, Shah and ten Doeschate in the regular line up, plus Napier and Masters in the attack should win far more than they lose. But they don't.

Derbyshire will need to play well and need to get around the fact that of their two biggest hitters Hughes is carrying a shoulder injury that prevents him bowling and Whiteley is in wretched form. It is especially a concern ahead of the T20, where the feeling remains that if we get an overseas player it really needs to be one who can clear the ropes.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul will be an ideal sheet anchor in that format, but Messrs Grant and Krikken will know that we could do with a man who comes with a strike rate around 130 per hundred balls and can take advantage of power plays when the majority of the field is in.

With little time left before the tournament begins, I would expect to hear news towards the end of next week and if we land a player with the above credentials we should be both grateful and impressed.

More tomorrow.

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