Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Somerset v Derbyshire day 2

Roll up, roll up! Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen, on the winners of this absorbing game of cricket.

Somerset lead by 36 runs and will probably, with Piyush Chawla in their ranks, fancy the chance of a win if they can set us much over 150 in the final innings. As for Derbyshire, with six wickets still to take, we will entertain hopes of early inroads tomorrow if we can get past Nick Compton early on. On both days so far there has been movement for the seam bowlers in the first hour and we have a new ball coming up tomorrow morning.

While there is plenty of batting to come tomorrow, we just need one of our bowlers to pull something special out of the fire, then the batting to show composure in pursuit of whatever total we are set. The odds would have been long on Madsen and Chanderpaul taking a wicket each today, but the last ball dismissal of Kieswetter by Shiv could yet prove the pivotal moment of the game.

I'm not sure when Chanderpaul took his last first-class wicket, but we must be going back a few years, as I can't recall him turning his arm over recently, despite being a useful leggie in his youth. I suspect he won't run through Somerset tomorrow, but if you're going to turn your arm over, a wicket on the last ball of the day is pretty good timing. Full marks to the skipper for bringing him on.

We did well to add more runs this morning, though there will be disappointment at missing an extra bonus point by two runs. There were more good runs from Tim Groenewald, who has rediscovered his batting mojo in recent weeks. I hope that we don't need his trusty blade in the final innings, or things will be much closer than would be comfortable.

The bottom line? If we're genuinely a first division side we will win this game. If we're just a decent division two outfit with lofty aspirations alone at this stage we won't. It's as simple as that. A first innings lead of 195 should win you most games and Derbyshire will prove their credentials for the top tier tomorrow. It is another of those pivotal sessions that we lost too many of in the early part of the season. Have we learned from them?

Meanwhile, over at The Oval, Surrey look like losing to Middlesex after Ollie Rayner took eight wickets today. 282 runs behind on a spinning track, their chances of salvaging a win to boost hopes of avoiding relegation look remote.

All of which makes tomorrow on the massive side of huge for Derbyshire. No points penalty for Somerset (there's a surprise...) but a win for us will take us a point ahead of them and out of the relegation places.

If that's not an incentive, I don't know what is.


Tim, Chesterfield said...

The first hour and a half tomorrow is absolutely crucial. If we take three or four wickets we'll be solid favourites, whilst a barren spell coupled with a hundred runs from the Somerset bat will cause us some unwanted discomfort.

Make it the former please.

Marc said...

I didn,t expect another full blown collapse from Somerset today so it hasn,t come as a shock to see they dug in and made life much more difficult for us.

Our immediate needs are far greater than theirs and this,for us,is quite simply a now or never match. The way the cards have fallen sees us still holding a good hand,though rain heading in for Friday could yet prove an ace in the hand for our opponents. We need to make serious and early inroads tomorrow morning and the new ball could be crucial to us,if we use it wisely.

As you say Peakfan,Compton,s wicket is a must and we need to get him early before he settles in again. They don,t have a great tail end so the last few wickets could fall quite quickly.

We are still in a good position but that can yet change. A runchase of over 150 will set the nerves jangling and even if there is ample time to get them,it,s one of those situations where we have often fallen apart in the past. Tomorrow morning is vital to us and we have to make the most of it. We MUST win this match.

Paul said...

After yesterday's heroics today was always likely to be after the Lords Mayors Show and it was.

The batting under achieved and was only acceptable in the end thanks to Tim.

The bowling was less penetrating with Somerset considerably less careless and important catches went down.

That said the two late wickets could be crucial and the old adage of who would you rather be - us or them still comes down in our favour. It goes without saying that the pre lunch period is crucial with the new ball and I expect us to press home our advantage.

The Leggie will be dangerous but there should be enough 4 balls to punish him as long as we are watchful when he is accurate. Also only Thomas looks half decent at the other end.

From being 90% confident I am now 65%.

Would be a good time for Shiv to lead us home.

notoveryet said...

I was surprised to see Alex Hughes playing this match rather than Burgoyne. Apart from the obvious thought that a spinner (albeit one who is mostly tidy without looking as if he'll take many wickets) is more useful than a borderline fourth seamer, Burgoyne's batting has delivered more than Hughes. This seems to be borne out by the amount of bowling done by Madsen and Chanderpaul today, without Hughes even getting a token over. Unless he makes a useful contribution in the second innings, he's in danger of disappearing for the second match in a row, and it really looks as if Madsen doesn't trust his bowling. It really can't be doing his confidence any good, and again begs questions about selection policy.

As everyone's commented, early wickets are probably the key to whether this is a comfortable win or another nailbiter. I don't really think that Somerset will get enough runs to make it a serious challenge (say 250) but we're very dependent on bits and pieces with neither Madsen nor Chanderpaul in great form. I don't think I could possibly have imagined saying this, but Borrington, Johnson and Poynton look like the batters in the most consistent form and a big contribution from one of them could be enough.

Dave C said...

I'm amazed that Durston didn't play ahead of Hughes in this game but time will tell.