Monday, 21 July 2014
Derbyshire v Glamorgan day 2
Derbyshire 241 and 13-1
Derbyshire need 60 runs to win
All of a sudden, Derbyshire have got quite good at this four-day cricket...
The "worst team in our history", as described by a fan on another site, who should really be ashamed, has now won, barring a collapse tomorrow that is surely beyond even our darkest days, two games on the trot and moved neatly up the table in the process.
We're not yet a great side and the discerning are well aware of the areas for improvement. But we weren't the worst one either, just a squad short of confidence. That should now be flowing through the side like water through a colander, today's cricket every bit as impressive as that of the first day.
One gets the distinct impression, to use a phrase that Graeme Welch is fond of, that we are now bowling as a unit and, crucially, playing as a team. The trio of Footitt, Palladino and Taylor complement each other nicely and, unlike last year and the early part of this season, the bowlers give little away and act as a mutual support unit in which one or another takes the lead.
If it doesn't always work, David Wainwright chips in and, with Wes Durston back in the team and form, we look a decent and balanced side again - at least in four-day cricket.
Today, the tail did remarkably well to steer us to a lead of over a hundred, despite losing the wickets of the two men most likely to take us to that position in the opening overs. David Wainwright, Tony Palladino and Mark Footitt (pictured) then batted with common sense and no little skill to take us to a position of strength, before Footitt unleashed himself.
On this season's form, there's not a better left-arm bowler in English cricket than Footitt and his new-found fitness, coupled with a vastly improved radar and no loss of pace, makes him one of the most potent weapons in the county game. Only Saeed Ajmal has more wickets than him this summer and opening batsmen must be thinking of career alternatives when it all clicks, as it so obviously did today.
Quite simply, he destroyed a not insignificant batting order, ably assisted by Tom Taylor, whose own form has been quite extraordinary since he made his debut. It is tribute to the young man's progress that no one is mentioning Tim Groenewald - and few of us would have seen that coming.
No chicken counting tonight, but if we don't seal the win tomorrow, look out for Peakfan's loom band site from next week.
Different author and perhaps a different target audience...
Postscript - if Mark Footitt doesn't get a Lions tour this winter, people at Lords should be ashamed of themselves...