I didn't preview this game for two reasons. The main one was that I had no time last night, attending the school prize-giving at which our daughter won a couple of prizes, including the award for the school's outstanding student of English. Naturally we are very proud of our lovely girl!
To be honest, there seemed little point either, as we were always going to lose this game. That's not defeatism, just realism after a T20 campaign that has been truly horrid. Nonetheless, we learned a few things tonight and I just hope that they are written in three-inch high capital letters in the coach's notes.
One is that we may as well bowl youngsters in the remaining games. Mark Footitt is an excellent four-day bowler, but he got slaughtered tonight and three overs for fifty in any form of cricket would make a bowler wince. We can't afford to lose him for the championship, so give him a break, along with Tony Palladino, please...
Mark Turner did OK and had the best economy of the seam bowlers, though the puzzle is again why Marcus North bowled only two overs for fourteen. Unless he picked up an injury, I don't understand that.
When we batted there was an encouraging innings from Gaz Cross, who is a better player than his batting returns have thus far shown. His problem, I think, is that he will have done little work in the close season, presumably not expecting his first-class career to be prolonged. While other players had a couple of months at least in the nets and more in the gym, Cross will have been playing catch-up. He won't have been unfit, but getting the technique back together takes a little time each year and Cross had to hit the ground running, never an easy thing to do. I'm pleased for him tonight, and his stand with Wayne Madsen gave Nottinghamshire a few scares.
As a stand of 103 in less than nine overs would do to any side, of course, though again it posed the question as to why such an excellent batsman as the skipper is kept back to the ninth over to make an entrance. Over his last two innings, Madsen has shown he has 'sussed' T20 batting and in each has scored around the 180 runs per hundred balls mark. That is Gayle/Pollard/Maxwell territory and most impressive, but why wait till the deep fielders are in place to bat?
We wouldn't have won that game anyway, as we just don't chase ten an over, but the bold approach of those two players at least sent supporters home with something to cheer.
Next is a trip to Kent and a game that is winnable, if we adopt the right, positive approach and work as a team.
I'll preview that tomorrow, which promises to be another busy day - our son's birthday.
Life's not dull, chez Peakfan...