It was a funny old innings by Derbyshire today, one that was shipping water at lunch, sailing on the seven seas by tea and then sinking like a stone before the close.
At 220-3 we were in a position to control the game, but the rap taken by Wes Durston on the helmet from a sharp ball by Graham Napier did more than take the Derbyshire batsman out of the equation. The rest of the batting came and went with barely a whimper and 275 was a disappointment, especially after the hard work by the skipper and Wes.
Hopefully the rejuvenated Mr Durston will return to the fray tomorrow and be able to contribute further runs (and wickets) to the cause as the game progresses. The efforts of the two have at least ensured that we are very much in this game, something that will hopefully be reinforced by our efforts in the field tomorrow.
Napier is a worthy cricketer, a hundred per cent player who contributes runs and wickets in equal measure. He dragged his side back into the game single-handed and deserves the plaudits for doing so. We needed someone in the lower order to show similar resolve and on this occasion were found wanting.
It sets up the game well, however and if we bowl with common sense tomorrow, I suspect there will be little between the sides at the end of the respective first innings.
There's some fine batsmen in that Essex side, however and we need to get among them pretty quickly.
More from me tomorrow.