Sunday, 4 August 2013
Sussex v Derbyshire day 3
A side containing six players under 25, five of them from the club Academy, ran out easy winners by nine wickets with a day to spare against one that has been in the top two of the division for much of the summer.
The match ended with a sterling partnership between Captain Marvel, Wayne Madsen, whose not out innings of 62 concluded a memorable personal match, together with Ben Slater, whose unbeaten 66 was the sort of knock that those who have followed him through the County Premier League, Academy and Second XI knew he could play.
He needed an opportunity to bat where he is used to batting and repaid that faith with an innings of patience and common sense, allowing Madsen to play his shots at the other end and content to keep the score moving along. I can't say that I'm surprised, because I've been saying for months that the lad can play and just needed a crack at his regular role.
The match was total vindication of the decision to play young players. Besides Slater's match-winning knock, Peter Burgoyne's first innings effort kept us within range of Sussex, while Alex Hughes took four wickets on his debut, one that will now be doubly memorable. Matt Higginbottom's was the least obvious success, but in the first innings he got the first wicket after a decent opening stand, then removed Sussex skipper Ed Joyce today when he was just getting into his stride. 1-24 in eleven overs was a good effort that he can be proud of. Krikk's Creche has a nice ring to it...
That second innings was a return to the miserly Derbyshire of last season. Only seven extras - three leg byes and four no balls - in 48 overs, giving the opposition little in the way of free runs. Full credit goes to Tim Groenewald, with 5-40 that led the attack admirably, while Mark Footitt's 3-39 gave us pace and a different angle for the batsmen to contend with.
It was wonderful stuff. We shouldn't get carried away and expect this to be the catalyst of a surge up the table, as we're a little too far off the pace for that at this stage. Yet the players can now look at this game, as well as the recent one against Nottinghamshire and realise that on their day they can match anyone. They just need to harness that commitment and fighting spirit on a regular basis.
To close - who else but Cap'n Madsen. 97 in the first innings, 62 not out in the second, 2-9 with the ball and leading his team to a memorable victory on the day that he became the second most prolific batsman in the top division, with 951 championship runs.
Carlsberg don't do cricket matches.
But if they did....
Well done lads. Top stuff and credit to all of you. Enjoy the journey home.