Monday, 9 September 2013

Monday musings

"You're leaving when"? said Mrs P as I outlined the details of my trip down to God's own county this week.

It's a chance to see how my folks are getting on before winter sets in, do a few jobs for them, go out for a meal and pull in a couple of days at the cricket. Lovely....

When I told her I planned to be on the road before six on Wednesday, she shook her head, but smiled. It was a nice smile, one of the 'he's slightly mad, but I love him variety", as opposed to the "I really must get this bloke seen by a doctor" variant that it could have been - not that I often see that one, you understand.

Mrs P is staying home this time, as our daughter is at school, while our son's work commitments rule him out of the trip. So it will be just me and my aural companions - a bit of Zep, some Rush, classic country, Roy Orbison, Dylan, The Beatles - yeah, that should do nicely...

I'll not make the start of our game against Durham (pesky 10.30 starts...) but I should see some pre-lunch play and the rest of the day thereafter. It will be good to catch up with a few people and to see the smiling faces of the backroom  team and the gate personnel. They're a wonderfully friendly bunch these days, but 'twas not always so. My Dad had a theory that Simon Wiesenthal could have found the odd Nazi war criminal among the gate staff at one time and  he had a run in with them on more than one occasion.

Not now though. He's not up to the games these days but enjoys following the scores at home as much as ever. The staff there today are friendly and approachable though, their welcoming " 'ey up, mi duck" a sure sign that I am home.

No news yet on the two teams, but thanks for your comments and please keep them coming. Opinion is divided on the opening berth, with some of you favouring the retention of Paul Borrington and others keen to see the reinstatement of Chesney Hughes - assuming he's back from seeing baby Ches, of course.

I can see merit in both. Ben Slater is a certainty to play after his Taunton heroics, but I'm less sure than some of you that Chesney will walk back into the side. Don't get me wrong, I think the lad oozes talent, but he's had a mixed championship summer. Indeed, since his mammoth unbeaten 270 at Headingley he has only 342 in 19 innings, somewhat belying the comment of one correspondent that he was a 'match-winner'. Given that he's presumably not spent the last two weeks in the nets and may be jet-lagged, it's far from a formality that he will be straight into the team. I'm sure that Karl Krikken and Dave Houghton will know at this stage and at the end of the day it is their decision that counts.

We'll doubtless see the squad announced tomorrow and the excitement will start to build ahead of this game, the first of what Wayne Madsen has rightly called our 'cup finals'. After years of largely irrelevant cricket from August onwards, we've had two successive sensational Septembers, which has much more going for it than sibilance...

See you tomorrow night - then hopefully on Wednesday for real...


Marc said...

Looking at the latest weather forecast we are going to suffer both on Wednesday and again on Friday by the looks of it.Further South at Taunton and London it,s looking dryer which is not good news for us.

They may of course be wrong but if they,re not then the first innings is going to be even more significant as bonus points may be the best we can hope for. We may be able to conjour a contrived result but a)Durham might not co-operate and b)we may lose. With this in mind I think it,s even more important we play Hughes and at least try and score as many runs within the first 110 overs as we can.

I accept that Hughes hasn,t set the world on fire in four day games but he has produced some good innings in limited overs matches,far more than Borrington,s solitary half century. The break he,s had may have done him good and he,s come back refreshed.

If Borrington plays I will support him to the hilt but scores of 38,32,27 and 16 are not going to make much of a dent in 350,which is what we have to aim for. Hughes may bag a pair but if you had to put your life savings on one of them producing a significant innings,for me there is only one choice. That said,we mustn,t forget bowling points. Every single point is important and worth it,s weight in gold.We missed out a batting point at Taunton which may seem insignificant until the final table sees us relegated by one point!.

Another thing we must do is hold any catches that come our way. No one drops them on purpose but the last thing we need is to give batsmen a second chance. The dolly that Madsen dropped at slip could easily have cost us dearly against Somerset,others were guilty of doing similar. The dropping of Chanderpaul late in the game did cost Somerset dearly.Every opportunity has to be taken.

notoveryet said...

Just a few thoughts in advance of the game against Durham.

We couldn't have a worse challenge for this game than Durham, top of the division and coming off the back of three successive wins. Except we have three wins in four, and they have the same. I'd guess Durham will be thinking tonight that they aren't playing Derbyshire, the relegation strugglers, but Derbyshire, the other form team in the division with the same recent record. Yes, we couldn't have a tougher challenge as we fight relegation, but they couldn't have a tougher challenge as they fight for the championship.

There's huge pressure on a young Derbyshire team as a defeat could be fatal to the chances of avoiding relegation. Just as there is huge pressure on a young Durham team as a defeat will let Yorkshire back into the race for the championship. Except our young team has been fighting tooth and nail battles for the last six weeks, and Durham's will be starting to learn about pressure.

And not least, this time last year, Durham were in exactly the same position as we are. No wins in the first 10, and then an extraordinary run of five wins in six that avoided relegation.

Even a defeat is not crucial. Surrey look ready for the taking by Somerset and that will make life difficult for us if we lose. But my short journey to Trent Bridge last night to see Somerset bottling a big day yet again suggests that they could implode under the pressure of their next two games.

I don't expect a win against Durham, but I do hope (barring any bizarre selection decisions or attempts to set up a result pitch). Durham might (and perhaps should) win, but if they do, let's keep our disappointment in check. Bear in mind my comments from a couple of weeks ago (courtesy of John Cleese and further adapted) that I can take the despair after Yorkshire, it's the hope after Somerset I can't stand.