Thursday, 5 September 2013

Somerset v Derbyshire day 3

After all the fun and frolics on the first day, few of us will have expected the game to be going into a fourth. More to the point, it is doing so with the game on a knife edge and so has been a wonderful advert for championship cricket.

We've made a decent fist of the run chase so far, aided and abetted by some poor wicket-keeping by Craig Kieswetter. Can we get another 117 runs to get across the line, win the game and move out of the bottom two?

There's enough talent in the batting to do so. Alex Hughes is next in, then there's Johnson, Poynton, Wainwright and Groenewald, all of who can be relied on to make a decent fist of batting. Yet it is hard to escape the fact that this situation is made for Chanderpaul. I don't think anyone would consider this a vintage summer for the West Indian, but if he could get us to a win tomorrow it will make a big difference to the perceptions of supporters.

As I said last week when Hasim Amla took Surrey to a narrow victory over us, such situations are when you hope - quite possibly pray, tonight - that your overseas star will do his stuff. It was such a situation last year that brought the best from Usman Khawaja against Hampshire, albeit on an easier batting track than this one. Having said that, batting is far from an impossibility and until the late dismissals of Slater and Palladino, Derbyshire appeared to be cruising to some extent.

Top marks to Ben Slater, who has played two fine hands in this match and looks increasingly like a player with much to offer. He will be disappointed not to go on from his 59 today, after 45 in the first innings, but a good spinner will always present issues and Chawla is a pretty good bowler. He's not a mystery or 'demon' spinner though, and his figures suggest enough poor balls to enable the score to be kept moving along.

I genuinely cannot predict this one but we have the ability to win it. Do we have the temperament? We will see tomorrow. Repeating what I said last night, if we genuinely are a first division side, we will get there; if we still need some work done at the drawing board, we will subside to a defeat that will be hard to bear after the heroics of the first day. There's no new ball in sight, so that should not affect the outcome to any great extent, unless we go out merely to occupy the crease, which I don't think the best policy, especially with some rain forecast tomorrow.

That will keep the bowlers fresh, but might make the ball harder to grip for the spinners. Conversely, our batsmen will probably have to start their innings several times, It's a tough one to call, but while some suggest we should have gone for it tonight, I don't buy into it. We could hardly be expected to score at five an over on a track helping bowlers and for me, doing so would have been a recipe for disaster.

We may win or lose tomorrow. The weather may yet see the game end in a draw. We have, however, regained respect and I expect to see a much stronger showing in 2014.

But in which division?


Marc said...

The track didn,t help our bowlers very much judging by Somerset,s score. I have to say I,m somewhat surprised we didn,t at least have a dart at it to begin with.After all,Somerset were not far short of four an over themselves and I can,t imagine thay set out to slaughter the bowling given the rather precarious position they began the day in.

We batted far too conservatively at the Oval and we could be in danger of repeating it again here. Fifty five off twenty four overs at one point doesn,t smack of attacking cricket to me.

If we do end up winning then all will be forgiven but to do so we certainly need Chanderpaul to lead us home. Slater is beginning to look the real deal but Madsen,s dip in form couldn,t have come at a worst time. I still fail to see the logic of sending in a night watchman and not for the first time this season the ploy failed.

We still have enough batting to win this and there may be a clearer slot of weather around late morning. If so we have to get a move on because nothing less than a win will do.

Anonymous said...

Great blog. I live in Devon so I was there today and will be going again tomorrow. It really is on a knife edge. I thought we let them get a few too many runs today but it is a decent enough pitch. But the attack felt a little bit thin, though Palladino bowled very well. We have the batting to win this tomorrow, though, so we will see. I think we will win.

Whatever happens, we have ended the season pretty well and with a good spirit, and that really does augur well for 2014. Most of these players, too, are still learning and are going to get better. Personally I would have liked to see Burgoyne play in this match - I was at Hove and in my view his innings made all the difference there - but we will see.

One other thing - I had a quick chat with Chris Grant before the play started today. Terrific guy. In more than 40 years of supporting Derbyshire (and as a member when I lived there) I really do feel more optimistic than I ever have before about the future.

Here's to Division 1 cricket next year!
Andy Thorpe

Paul said...

Really really frustrating morning and early afternoon as we struggled like hell to dismiss them. They batted well and deep but I felt we lacked variety with either 2 pacemen or 2 spinners on at same time.

We batted very well, iniatially with understandable caution and then with more freedom.

Borrington still flatters to deceive doing the hard work and yet again getting out when set and the captain seems to be struggling against spin.

As I said last night Shiv needs to come to the party and so far so good. If he sticks around for 30 overs tomorrow we win and with Surrey losing we end up in an incredibly good position. Lose and we are gone.

It really is that vital.

With Shiv still there I make us 55% slight favourites.

I didn't sleep well last night god help me tonight

Peakfan said...

Cheers Andy - nice to hear from you and please keep in touch!

Peakfan said...

Yeah, I'd probably go the same Paul. I suspect that fortunes will ebb and flow through the day.
If we win it, the Durham game becomes massive... if we don't, it's largely irrelevant

John Hall said...

What a match this has been so far. What has happened over the past few weeks gives me great hope, not just for friday but for next season.There are clearly a few fellow veterans of the one-win-a-season era (univs dont and never did count) knocking around this blog who will recall great individual characters and performances but rarely any elevens capable of not only surviving the twist and turns of the three/four day game but creating a few of their own. I'm very proud of this side, and i think we are going to win.
Cometh the hour etc.

Peakfan said...

Remember them well John snd all too vividly s season or two where the only win came near the end of a season where, in a division of 17 teams, nothing rested on the result anyway.
These lads have produced under pressure and I share your excitement at the potential of a very young side.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, what a result! Do we now wish for monsoon September?