Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Derbyshire v Hampshire day 3

With a day to go and more stoppages likely tomorrow, it is difficult to see how a positive result can happen in this one.

The excellence of Stephen Moore and Shivnarine Chanderpaul batted us into a position of some strength, while another late salvo from Tim Groenewald took us to within touching distance of the final bonus point before the end came on 399.

Groenewald is such an admirable cricketer and invaluable to this Derbyshire side. He always bowls tight, usually with penetration and he has improved every season with the bat. Add to that the fact that he rarely misses a game and his importance is evident.

What is equally evident, at least from these early games, is that our middle order appears to have gone into the season a little 'half cooked'. Chesney Hughes, Wes Durston and Richard Johnson have all failed so far, their struggles in stark contrast to the form shown by the top order pre-season and subsequently. Perhaps a lack of time in the middle is the issue, but all will be hoping for improved form in the near future. Looking at it another way, there is every incentive for those out of the side at the moment to produce the goods and force their way in.

It isn't critical at this stage and is perhaps churlish to criticise a team that has scored 399, but we cannot always expect the top order to fire and runs at Worcester would be appreciated from any or all of the above.

With a day to go and Hampshire still 51 behind, I cannot see how a result can be contrived. Even the introduction of declaration bowling tomorrow would seem unlikely, as neither side will want to lose in such a fashion so early in the summer.

It looks a nailed-on draw, but sometimes this game can surprise you.

I really don't see it here, though.

1 comment:

Marc said...

There,s no way this game can be anything other than a draw from here on. It,s not the sort of pitch where a team is liable to capitulate and I just see Hampshire serenely batting the day out.

It is a little worrying we have a few players who have yet to make an impression with the bat. I don,t see any need to make judgements at this stage but those you mention could do with some runs sooner rather than later.

We may be a little undercooked but that,s partially our own fault for not batting first against Durham,first class fixture or not. It,s batsmen who need time in the middle far more than bowlers,something we didn,t seem to take on board.

It might be an idea to switch Hughes and Godleman round. The former is much happier opening and the latter has scored some runs in the middle order in the past and may render him less susceptible to new ball LBW,s. Worth a try in my book.