In the opening skirmishes of the county cricket season, it is always interesting to look around and detect potential patterns and issues for the various teams.
Lancashire pretty much stormed division two last year, but their batting looks very inexperienced for division one and they seem to have been caught cold in a manner similar to our travails at the start of last year. There's a lot of talent in their ranks, but the only batsman of any experience in that top order, Ashwell Prince, is going to have to score a lot of runs to keep them in contention.
Of course, the batsmen may learn quickly and they might also sign an overseas player to fill the gap, but laudably they are building for the future. The short-term one, it must be said, doesn't look unduly promising, as the Nottinghamshire attack that rolled them over was far from a first-choice one.
In our division, the wickets have tumbled but I don't think we can read too much into things yet. OK, apart from perhaps that my selection of Jim Allenby (4 wickets and an unbeaten 29 so far) for my fantasy team may prove a decent bit of business...
Worcestershire have signed Kiwis Colin Munro and Mitchell McClenaghan for different parts of the season, so with Saeed Ajmal seem to have the overseas bases well-covered, but they still don't strike me as a team to worry about unduly, unless they get on a run. Retaining Moeen Ali will help, though good form could seem him a part of a new-look England set up.
There was the wicket of England hopeful Varun Chopra for our own Johny Marsden, playing for Oxford University today, while last week's opponents Durham MCCU were back to their unduly profligate selves against Durham (short trip, that one...), conceding over forty extras after giving away seventy against us. I'd have thought that something to work on for the coach...
Finally tonight, there are thirteen teams (unlucky for some..) in the Peakfan Blog Championship as the summer began. Gary Cunningham is the early leader, after sweeping three prizes last year, though the Peakfan Prime XI is hot - some might say luke-warm - on his heels in second place.
Not bad, since I have three Derbyshire players in my eleven and we've yet to play. We're two teams short of being able to award medals at the end of the summer, so if anyone wants to make a late bid and get involved, please do so. 8031395 is the PIN for the league. Mail me if you need more information.
That's it for now - more from me in the next couple of days.