Saturday, 31 August 2013

Surrey v Derbyshire day 3

It might not have been pretty, but it was pretty effective...

Derbyshire batted all day to end it 161 runs ahead with three wickets in hand. All results are still possible, but in taking the game into the fourth day, Derbyshire have given themselves every chance of bowling on a wicket at its worst.

It may all be in vain, of course. We could still lose, with Surrey's experienced batting line up earning their money and taking the game from us on the last afternoon. However long we bat tomorrow, they need to go for the runs, as they are in danger of being cast adrift at the bottom with nowhere to go. A win for us leaves us only a point behind Somerset, our next opponents, in what becomes a game of monumental importance. A loss, I fear, leaves us with too much to do.

It was a good effort today on a pitch with variable bounce and offering help to the spinners. Neither Ansari nor Batty are close to front rank purveyors of twirlies, so it is hard to judge how well Wainwright and Burgoyne might do tomorrow.

I reckon that we need at least another forty runs and at that point Surrey may worry (nice rhyme, huh?). Chasing 200 in the last innings will be no picnic and will be a challenge psychologically, as well as technically. Amla, Solanki and de Bruyn will again be key and how we need Mark Footitt to have his radar locked on again and bowling at his fastest. If he could take a couple of early wickets, no matter how many they are chasing, it could set the alarm bells ringing.

I suspect David Wainwright will see early action with the ball and will be a tired man tomorrow night. He and Tom Poynton added a crucial 48 unbroken runs in the last session this evening, stretching the lead to 161 and suggesting, if no more, that we could still nick this one. I like Poynton and in his formative career he has suggested that he will be a valuable player for us in the years to come. He's prepared to get his head down, but can give it a smack if it is there to be hit. His batting average heads steadily northwards and has plenty of time to improve in the years ahead. Wainwright too has the right mentality and after a difficult season seems to be rediscovering form at a crucial time.

Once again Wayne Madsen was to the fore with a hard-earned fifty, before falling leg-before to one that kept low. While disappointed to be dismissed, he will have enjoyed seeing the ball misbehave and the Derbyshire players will be well aware that they have a chance tomorrow. Paul Borrington also battled hard and can be pleased with his efforts in the match on a difficult pitch.

So where's your money folks? If we could scrap to 200 in the morning I will fancy our chances, but less than that will be desperately close. Scoring hasn't been easy throughout the game and is unlikely to be tomorrow. Will Surrey be prepared to scrap as we have done, or will they stroll to victory on the back of some wild bowling as Derbyshire lose their mojo? Will they, conversely, collapse like a pack of cards?

I think a 200 target will win it, especially if we can make the runs/overs equation challenging tomorrow - and not give away as many extras as we did in the first innings, which was way too generous on such a track. Every run will count, that's for sure.

But whatever happens, this Derbyshire side have restored pride. The willingness to graft is heartening and will stand them in good stead for the future, whatever happens tomorrow.

My fingers are crossed though.

3 comments:

Tim, Chesterfield said...

I'm pleased at the way they've grafted. I still fear a defeat by six or seven wickets by mid afternoon but I'd love to be proved wrong.

Marc said...

At the moment i,m leaning towards Surrey,but not by a huge distance. We still have to make more runs tomorrow if only from the psychological point of having them chase 200. No offence to Burgoyne but I would be far more confident if we had Durston to back up Wainwright and also a certain Mr Palladino.

We haven,t so so we,ll just have to hope for the best from those we do have. It certainly sounds as if the pitch is starting to misbehave so if we bowl tight and don,t give them any cheap runs, life could prove difficult for Surrey.

We really needed a couple of players to make their mark today,which apart from the skipper,didn,t really happen.Borrington did reasonably well but not well enough to change my opinion about him. Poynton and Wainwright have at least given us the chance to post a 200 target,though I can,t help feeling the runs we need may have been easier to get today than when the bowlers are fresh tomorrow. We shall see.

I don,t see this ending in a draw so for us it,s quite simply a case of having to bowl them out. I have all fingers crossed but I still doubt we have the bowling to pull it off.

notoveryet said...

A day at the Oval fitted in perfectly with a work trip to London on Friday, and provided as nerve-jangling a day of cricket as I've ever experienced. We're still in this, but not by much, because I think we've been fooled about how much this is going to turn on the last day.

Agreed that the Surrey spinners aren't good enough to get the most out of this pitch, but think that through. Surrey know their spinners aren't as good as ours, so why would they prepare a pitch that would suit our strengths better than theirs? I didn't see much sign of turn, and all of the threat came from the uneven bounce, slow enough for the spinners that batsmen were able to adjust.

All of the danger came from the quick bowlers, and Linley's spell in the morning and Tremlett's after tea were as unpleasant as anything I've seen recently.

Footitt could be close to unplayable on this if his radar stays intact, but he can't bowl 30 overs, so unless Poynton and Wainwright can eke out another 50 runs tomorrow and Higginbottom bowls with more discipline than in the first innings, I suspect the lack of experience in our bowling will be as decisive as it was in conceding the first innings lead that will probably be the difference between us.

Which takes me back to my point yesterday about Palladino's omission. Sorry, Peakfan, it isn't a matter of get over it and move on, because inexplicable and irrational decisions will carry on happening if no-one says that they are bad decisions. If we win this one, I'm not going to proclaim Krikken as a genius, I'm going to say he's got away with it again. Putting his young bowlers in this position is a risk to our chances of avoiding relegation, and a risk to their future development if it's their failure that can be pinpointed as the cause. 100 in 21 overs in the first innings might be the margin of defeat here, and win, lose or draw here, we have to recognise this for what it was, an accident waiting to happen.