Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Nottinghamshire v Derbyshire day 1

If this game had gone to the expected script, Derbyshire, after losing the toss today (where have we heard that before?) would have been rolled over for 150 by mid-afternoon and Nottinghamshire would have been close to parity by the close of play.

It didn't work out like that though. 245-2 was a Hitchcock-style twist in the tale and Derbyshire will be thrilled to have both Wayne Madsen (first Derbyshire player to 500 runs this season) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul both there to fight another day.

They are in sparkling form as their sterling efforts against Surrey will testify and few Derbyshire fans would have dared to expect such a score at the end of the first day. Nor, we should assume, would Mick Newell have expected a track quite like this when he picked the expected array of seamers in order to blast us out and we must assume the groundsman has kept a low profile today. It is an odd track for a game that the home side could do with winning too. At least Karl Krikken had the nous to include a specialist spinner in David Wainwright and we can only hope that he and Wes Durston have an opportunity to twirl their magic as the game progresses.

It is funny that after our early season travails with the bat that we now have four batsmen averaging over 50, albeit with Richard Johnson doing so after just three knocks. Chesney Hughes is seventeen short of his 500, albeit aided by his Headingley marathon, while Madsen took his tally to 551 by the end of the day with the promise of more to come. He is a splendid, worthy cricketer and has found his niche at number three. When he gets in there is a reassurance about Madsen at the crease and he seems to enjoy batting with Chanderpaul.

Then again, who wouldn't. The West Indian maestro is 23 short of his own 500 championship runs and seems to have adopted a more relaxed approach at the crease. 'Run a ball Chanderpaul' would be a decent moniker for him as, without appearing to take risks, he works the ball into gaps and keeps the score ticking over. His timing is so exquisite that he rarely seems to hit the ball, leaning on it and caressing it to the boundary with the minimum of fuss. Many a casual cricketer (myself included) would love to know the secret of such timing, which is more aesthetically pleasing to my eyes than someone bludgeoning sixes with a bat the size of a fence post.

450 or 500 would be fantastic tomorrow. Dare we hope for that, or will Nottinghamshire's bowlers get more assistance? Will our batting fall away or will we power on to a score beyond our expectations? Spare a thought tonight for Billy Godleman, who played a supporting role to Chesney Hughes in a fine opening stand, yet again was dismissed without going on to the score that would ease the pressure on him.

Still, for now let's dream of a continued strong performance from our side, that looks to be getting to grips with this level and isn't out of things in the division. We need to press on tomorrow and then put Nottinghamshire under pressure.

How good does that sound?

Postscript - in the Second XI game, Derbyshire replied to Nottinghamshire's 145 with 165. Our rivals were 130-5 in their second innings, just 110 ahead. Alex Hales' struggles continued with only 8 and Derbyshire have a chance of winning the game with a good effort tomorrow.


notoveryet said...

Unexpected and welcome as it was, let's not forget that we've found ourselves in decent positions at the end of days one and two and still found ways of losing. However, a day when no wheels seem to have come off at any point was a welcome and encouraging change.

Two interesting points. First, a lot has been said about Chanderpaul's impact on the younger players, but is it a coincidence that Wayne Madsen is enjoying probably his best spell since his first couple of seasons?

Second, Godleman clearly needs to go on from his supporting 20 odds, but let's not forget that another measure of openers is the stable platform they contribute to. After the second innings 76 against Surrey, today's partnership was an encouraging sign that he and Hughes are beginning to gel, even if they won't often enjoy the luxury of being dropped off successive balls as they were.

Peakfan said...

Fair points mate and Shiv seems to rub off on Madsen consciously or otherwise.

Marc said...

It was a very satisfactory day apart from the weather having it's usual say. Once again it proves the inaccuracy of those who think they have mystical abilities to read pitches. Nine times out of ten the best policy is to bat first and back yourself to get the necessary runs. I've never believed that batting last on a day four pitch to try and win a match is the best tactic. Generally speaking we haven't batted too badly in our first innings and even on those occasions we have posted a lowish total we have often got away to reasonable starts only to screw it up later on in the innings. Our problems have rarely been down to either the pitch or the new ball.

Madsen and Chanderpaul look in very good touch and are playing with confidence. Madsen has been in good form since early season, If one or two of the other batsmen had done similar we wouldn't be where we are now.

It looks a dodgy forecast today, which is not going to help us at all. Let's hope they are wrong and we can press on to put Notts under some pressure. As Notoveryet points out, if we naff it up from here it wouldn't be the first time, but I've got a feeling that won't happen on this occasion. We still have batting to come and we must press on with some urgency.

Mark said...

28 from 88 balls for Godleman again, the only negative on a good day. If only we could've found that elusive opening batsman, we'd be laughing. He will score runs next season when he finds himself up against Div 2 bowlers, at his right level.