Saturday, 29 June 2013

Leicestershire v Derbyshire T20

Very impressive.

That's my verdict on Derbyshire today, after what in the end was a comfortable win over Leicestershire Foxes. We've now won two away games on the bounce and are top of the group. Be honest, we'll take that...

It was telling to hear how Albie Morkel's experience is being used and Derbyshire's batting today showed a nous that hasn't always been a feature of our one-day game. That 85% of teams who have someone batting through the innings go on to win may be common sense, but when a man who has well over 200 such games under his belt tells you these things, as recounted by David Wainwright, you have to listen. There wasn't much chance for individual success by Albie today and the home side's bowlers did especially well in the last three overs to give him no room to open his arms, but Chesney Hughes and Wes Durston batted beautifully. Hughes looks quicker on his feet than I have seen him and got us off to a flyer with some bruising blows, while Wes took up the mantle once he had been dismissed and continued to accelerate throughout his innings.

Shiv Chanderpaul also batted well and I can recall few players who time the ball as well as the West Indian. Even hitting sixes he seems to put little into it and he really is a joy to watch, whatever the idiosyncracies of his stance.It seemed somewhat incongruous to see a man renowned for his powers of concentration reverse-sweeping Shakib, but was all the more impressive for that.

It seemed a decent score, one that gave us a chance at least, but the way that Josh Cobb led off the home side's reply was breathtaking, even though we all hoped it might not last too long. He took Mark Footitt's first over apart and it was a brave move by Wayne Madsen to give him a second. Few among the club support might have done, yet Footitt took a key wicket with the aid of a very good catch by Billy Godleman. They're never easy when you have to backpedal as he did.

When Joe Burns took up his mantle it seemed scarcely possible that Derbyshire could win, yet the advent of spin stymied the innings. David Wainwright held a blinder to dismiss Shakib, then ran through the middle order with a spell of spin that suggested he is back to his best. He got fine support from Dan Redfern and it was hard to believe that he had only bowled six balls in the competition before today. If this was genuinely indicative of his bowling talent it gives us good competition for places, especially when Alex Hughes and Ross Whiteley return to fitness.

The fielding held up well throughout and it would be hard to fault how Derbyshire fought their way back into the game, then won it in some style. Perhaps the bowling wasn't as on the spot as it might have been at the start, but there's such a fine line between a ball that can be hit and one that is on the spot. It is also hard to bowl at a batsman who is coming hard at you as Cobb did and credit goes to our boys for holding their nerve.

Durston was a good man of the match, though Wainwright ran him close and his catch and wickets turned the game. Nor should a very tidy display by Tom Poynton behind the stumps be overlooked, a focal point of a sharp effort in the field.

Top of the section, though we'll have a better idea of the side's potential after this week's games against Lancashire and Nottinghamshire. You can't argue just now though.

More of the same this week boys. We all enjoyed that one.

PS This was my 2000th post on the blog. Nice to mark it with a win, eh?


Martin Edwards said...

Congrats on 200 posts, Peakfan. And I think you're right to highlight the advice that Morkel gave. Seems to me that the team's problems this season have had more to do with mentality than lack of talent. Top sports coaches say that mindset makes all the difference, and it was good to hear Wayne Madsen refer to mindset. But ultimately, it's about actions, not words. The coaches, helped by Shiv and the other senior players, need to instil more confidence in the younger players and those out of form. If they can do that, the second half of the season could see some very respectable performances. If not...

Peakfan said...

Thanks Martin - you're right, self-belief is a vital component of an individual and team performance.

Marc said...

It's been a very encouraging start, though the coming week will in all likelihood provide even sterner tests. However, I don't think we need to fear any of the teams in our group. On our day we are capable of beating any of them.

I would also like to thank Cobb For the inexplicable decision to put us in to bat. I just don't understand what these captains are hoping to achieve bu subjecting their team to the added pressure of chasing the game. Leicestershire did the sort of thing we have perfected in previous campaigns, namely having to face a big target and then pressing the panic button once the run rate starts creeping up and two or three quick wickets fall. There is never a reason for batting second in limited overs games that outweighs the value of batting first and putting runs on the board. Even a modest score puts an element of doubt in the mind of the team batting second which can be exploited.

We batted very well indeed and it was very pleasing to see. An on form Durston makes a huge difference to us as he can play a support role or full blown aggression with equal effect. It might have been slightly better for us had Chanderpaul departed two or three overs earlier. That's not a criticism of the manner in which he batted, merely that we may have added a few more to the total had Morkel been in for longer.

Because we set a challenging total we always had the chance to turn it round, even though our opponents got away to a flyer. I really thought we were going to pay for Footitt dropping Cobb, though in fairness it was by no means a sitter. The spinners made the real difference and I have to say I'm fast becomiing a fan of Redfern,s bowling. He has a nice action and if you drop it there or thereabouts, as he usually seems to, the batsmen will always be asked questions.

Durston was MOTM but it could easily have gone to Wainwright. He bowled a superb spell and took one of the best catches I've seen in years. He's had some issues in recent times and one Swallow doesn't make a summer, but maybe yesterday will prove a turning point for him.

All in all, it was a good win. The only question mark for me is whether we can afford to play Footitt rather than another spinner. Second to that is the debate about opening with spin at both ends. I think it's worth a try, even allowing for the new fielding restrictions during the opening overs. Slow bowlers are the way forward in this type of cricket,as has been proved on many occasions in the past.

We can really turn the screw this week and set ourselves up nicely in this competition. Some of our rivals might be a little more worried than they may have been in the past. Let's have another good week.