Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Worcestershire v Derbyshire day 3

Call me Mystic Peakfan, but I reckon I can predict the future for a few players tonight...

For Saeed Ajmal, I predict a sound night's sleep tomorrow, as he's going to be bowling a lot of overs on the last day. The expected deterioration in the wicket didn't really happen today and after a cautious morning, where runs and overs seemed to move at the same pace for much of the time, we were given a bit of a pasting in the afternoon and evening as our hosts added well over 300 runs. Alex Kervezee must wish he could carry our attack around in a holdall - that's three successive tons for him off our bowling...

Enterprising batting? Average bowling? I guess we'll see tomorrow. Both our spinners went for over a hundred, Wes going for around six an over and it's unlikely that we will find Ajmal quite such a profligate bowler when we have to bat for most of the day to avoid defeat.

I was surprised, to be honest. At lunch it seemed like an even game was in store and tomorrow would be largely academic. Now, we will need to show fighting spirit in abundance to get a draw from this, as today went very, very much the way of the home side.

Which brings me to my next prophecies.

I think Billy Godleman, Chesney Hughes and Wes Durston need better performances tomorrow, as the chasing pack are closing in fast. The struggles for competitive form of all three have been mentioned before, but without competition - and in other eras -  their places could still be considered safe.

Yet today in the second team, Paul Borrington made a brilliant, unbeaten 110 as they successfully chased 266 in fifty overs to beat Worcestershire. Alex Hughes contributed a cavalier 64 from 48 balls, after taking three wickets, while there were sound contributions from Messrs Elstone, Slater and Clare as the target was reached with six wickets and eight balls to spare.

By any standards, that is a good performance. Given that we have so often over the years chased such totals with the alacrity of a one-legged man in a fat suit, the side and John Sadler, the coach, are to be congratulated.

Nor should the bowlers be overlooked. Ben Cotton took 3-42 on what must have been a good batting track, while Tom Knight took 2-35 in ten impressive overs. Given that Graeme Welch told the squad to go away, score runs, take wickets and force him to play them, some have gone away and done just that.

The rest is up to the coach.

Tomorrow is a big day for a lot of players, both in and outside the team at Worcester.I hope that those who need to do so produce the goods, but am very encouraged that an orderly queue is being formed should they fail to do so.


Anonymous said...

I quite agree with your assessment, Peakfan.

Although it is still is relatively early in the season, we cannot afford to run with only half of the top order performing. Graeme Welch has shown faith in the more experienced lads during the opening games, but it does seem likely he will opt to shake things up a little.

I would be surprised if there were as many as three changes to the batting, but a couple of tweaks would seem on the cards.


Peakfan said...

Don't expect three either, Mastervillain, but if there's no improvement tomorrow we need to look at options and can't go with half the top six misfiring...

Paul said...

Whoever is dropped we must find a way to play another seamer/ all rounder in the form of either Clare or Alex Hughes.

For the 2 away games we have been hopelessly unbalanced resulting in today Durston bowling 19 overs at 6s whilst Chesney only bowled 3 for 9 runs . What is this fixation with Durstons bowling? To go in with 3 seamers in April is suicide!

It's still early days but having watched the whole of the Hants game we look worse in all facets of the game than last year !

Come on all you back room team time to start earning your money

marc said...

You,re right Peakfan,the wicket didn,t deteriorate but the bowling certainly did. Some of the batsmen are coming under pressure and that,s to be expected but with the excepion of Essex,s first innings,I really don,t think we have bowled at all well as a unit.

We still have a second innings tomorrow so things for some could easily change. I don,t think Hughes is happy down the order and I still hold to a point I made a few days ago about swopping him and Godleman round. I can,t see where we have much to lose by trying it.

I would still be tempted to give them one more game after this but without noticeable improvement in the next one, then I would agree the time for change will have arrived. I have serious doubts as to whether we can survive tomorrow. We cannot afford to be more than a couple of wickets down at lunch or we are in big trouble. The consolation is this is still only a day 3 pitch tomorrow and Worcestershire gave ample proof there is little wrong with it. Saeed will pose a threat but he isn,t super-human and we have to play him on merit and be prepared to attack him. The best way to nullify him is to hit him out of the attack.

Peakfan said...

Very early days for the coaches Paul but the bowlers are doing ok individually, not collectively, much like the batsmen. When we bat and bowl as a team we will start to do better.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

Little bit of a worrying day given the speed that a moderate side scored runs against us.

Mark said...

Dear oh dear, 4 wickets down for 59 runs at lunch, what a pathetic effort we've put in in this match. Three games in and changes already needed especially on the batting front. Godleman has been a waste of space since we signed him, Chesney shows no signs of improvement whilst a few others have got to start knuckling down at the crease. We might bore this innings out but it is of little consolation where we've been outplayed once again.

Rob Enderby said...

Oh great Peakfan, An innings defeat we still slip to the bottom of the table and stay there. The only person smiling will be KK the only guy to win silverware in several generations and his reward? Please apply for your own job. Too much dignity to accept Grants kind offer and now look at us. More coaches than ive got O levels including a bloke who looks at videos all day. Oh well at least we are loosing heavily playing a team packed full of Derbyshire born starlets in the making. That's if you discount 5 born overseas and only 2 players not having played for another county as well as none born in the county they are representing. But I suppose what chance have we got when Worcestershire have been allowed to bowl at us on a different pitch to the one we bowled pies on yesterday. Second sarcastic comment for which I apologise however this is simply not good enough. At least we showed some fight under Krikken not so now.

Mark said...

Lol at that pathetic display. Hammered by a side with no great expectations for this coming season. Welch will now have a good idea about those players who are willing to work and those who are happy to take the money and run. Look forward to the blog tonight peakfan.

Peakfan said...

Think you're forgetting some one day trophies in the 'several generations' assertion Rob, while Krikken had the opportunity afforded to many of us in different walks of life. Having been there myself, on several occasions, there's a fine line between pride and stubbornness and each must make their own call on that.
Of course the coaches will take flak whenever we lose, but lets not forget these are not Welch's players and he's only been in post since the New Year. Changes need made and probably will be - see tonight's blog for my thoughts.

Paul said...

Whilst these are not " Welch 's players" I would remind you Peakfan of your article of the 28th March where you previewed the season and estolled the virtues of just about every member of the squad bar ironically Wainwright who has done well( needless run out today not withstanding) resulting in your verdict of promotion.

Please do not think I am being smart as I too shared your optimism to the extent that I took Ladbrokes 7/1 to win the title. A fool and his money...,,

No my point is that GW has to take responsibility for this poor start , not helped in my opinion by some poorly balanced bowling attacks and an over reliance on more experienced players who last year failed to deliver and have continued in the same vein .

Now is the time for GW and his team to stand up and make a difference quickly before our title hopes , your prediction and my money disappear over the hill

Peakfan said...

You're right Paul and I still think we're a better team than this start. We got off well pre-season but its gone flat for some reason.
Welch will take responsibility and will, I think, change the side a little. However, as I have pointed out on several occasions, he should be judged in a couple of years, not three months