Two fine all-round performances lit up the Derbyshire Premier League yesterday, both giving genuine medium to long-term hope for the future.
At Queens Park in Chesterfield, the home side posted a respectable but not much more 191-6 in their fifty overs against Dunstall, for who Scott Elstone took 2-26. Ben Slater made 64 to anchor the innings, before being run out by Academy youngster Callum Brodrick.
Then Elstone, oddly ignored on Friday evening, made a typically stylish unbeaten 89, as Dunstall eased to a nine-wicket victory with more than five overs to spare. I sincerely hope such a performance is noted and a talented player is more involved next Friday against Lancashire.
Meanwhile, a low-scoring game between Denby and Alfreton was settled by a fine performance by Greg Cork. Denby struggled to 153 all out, with Cork's patient 63 from 110 balls anchoring the innings. Alfreton were always struggling and were dismissed for 105, Cork taking 2-14 in seven overs to complete a highly satisfying performance.
Wes Durston was also in the runs, with 79 against Swarkestone, who had much the worse of a draw against Ockbrook and Borrowash. It's good to see Wes back in some sort of form and I hope that his season can kick on from here.
Elsewhere, Middlesex's laudable idea of playing a double-header of T20 at Lords on a pleasant Saturday rebounded on them somewhat when they lost them both. Essex looked impressive in the first match, but one would have expected the home side to make a better fist of a moderate chase against Sussex in the second. I suppose it shows that we don't have a monopoly on disappointing performances, for the benefit of those who sometimes appear to think we do.
What it does do is lessen the pain for supporters in a an inadvertent way. I suppose if you lose two in a day you can only really feel the hurt once, afterwards.
Finally today, sage comments from Martin Moseling, a Kent member and cricket writer, regarding 'that' declaration in the recent Kent game. The background from the opposition side makes sense and I'm pleased to see that he too felt that Rob Key may have been better served in a quest for bonus points.
You can read it underneath the day four post on the Derbyshire/Kent game below. I don't want to go around the houses on this one again, but it is well worth a read.
Thanks Martin - and thanks to all of you for your continued comments, emails and interest.
Postscript - later this week I am looking forward to interviewing the legendary Derbyshire bowler Edwin Smith. If you have any questions that you would like me to put to one of our greatest spinners, please drop me a line.