Thanks for your comments after last night's game. Mighty perceptive they were too and while I don't agree with all of them, it's a free country and the game is all about opinions.
Thanks also for making this a massive day for hits, with over a thousand visitors today alone, which is much appreciated. It is nice to see that interest is alive and well and there's nothing we all like better than a communal gloat at the expense of our dear neighbours eh...?
Notoveryet was absolutely right in his assertion that the game format helped us last night. The batting order, sans Morkel and Chanderpaul was very inexperienced and had the game run its full course, both our approach and the result could have been different, that fragile underbelly perhaps exposed and the Nottinghamshire batting machine having an opportunity to make a more measured response to what might have petered out to 160 in 20 overs.
Yet we will never know and life is full of ifs, buts and maybes. You can only play the conditions of the time and Derbyshire came out for that game last night like vintage Mike Tyson approached a boxing match. On another night, Chesney could have nicked that first cover drive to the keeper or hit it straight down the fielder's throat, but he didn't and from there it was quite magnificent.
There was an intensity about our cricket that I loved and admired last night and I just wish we had found it against Lancashire at Old Trafford and Yorkshire at Queens Park. Both those games were there for the taking and I'd gladly have swapped last night for wins in those two games if I'm honest. Ten points with two games to go...the fat lady would have been singing the most enchanting of arias by the time this weekend came around...
Watching Wes Durston last night it was astonishing to realise that in around four overs of batting he had equalled his highest championship score of the summer. He looks such a good player when in full flight that his four-day struggles are a mystery. Maybe he should just go and throw off the shackles, play his shots and see what happens. It would, if nothing else, make for stirring stuff while it lasted.
My only criticism of last night was that I felt we were a bowler light. The batting was probably packed when the game was reduced, but my response would be that if you slip to 40-5 in this sort of game you are probably stuffed anyway. I'd have included Tom Knight in place of Billy Godleman and that would have given an extra bowling option, one that Nottinghamshire would have struggled with, given the conditions and the fact that Knight, like Burgoyne, is a good bowler.
It's a personal preference, but if I have a choice to make for an eleventh member of a team and it is between a bowler in form and a batsman patently out of it, I'll take another bowler. Each to their own, but Knight's presence would have meant that Wayne Madsen had another bowling option last night for the last over. I accept that a few of you think the skipper erred there, but I still think that his decision to go with his strike bowler was correct.
For one, he is a strike bowler and should be used as such. Second, his confidence was up after holding one of the best catches you'll see and two others with people shouting all sorts at him. Third he was bowling at Chris Read who has butchered spin in the past and could feasibly have done so again. Four - Durston would have been bowling his first over of the match.
With the runs to play with it was not really a gamble, but suggestions that we don't play him produce a question from me. Who else is there? Footitt is a similar bowler, Morkel has finished, Palladino is injured and Clare would appear to be with his lack of recent bowling. Evans would be a gamble, as would Higginbottom and that's it. Thank goodness for Tim Groenewald, who we seem to wind up in April and who then plays every game until September...
It was a great effort but Karl Krikken and his coaching team have to ask why. Was it the influx of youth? Was it the local derby atmosphere? Was it the realisation that they should simply go for it and see what happened? Whatever it was, harness it please and get them to repeat ad nauseam. It would be so much better for our nerves.
A repeat on Friday would do very nicely, but I'm going to see which Derbyshire turns up. Last night's version should realise they could take on anyone if they can handle Nottinghamshire. The anaemic, less than one hundred per cent commitment version of the side will continue to make a mess of things.
I wish I knew which one would be there on Friday.
I bet everyone else does too.
Postscript: Despite last night's success, I still feel our better chance of winning is bowling first and hoping stronger sides overreach. If we batted like prime time West Indies and racked up 180-plus it would be different, but we don't. That doesn't happen, so the common sense run chase of a moderate target would work for me every time.
Always assuming we used common sense, of course...