Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Derbyshire v Glamorgan day 3

Regular readers will hopefully be pleased to see that this isn't a description on how to make a dragon tail loom band...

For indeed, victory was ours this morning and we rise, at least for now, to the giddy heights of  fifth in the county championship, division two. With four games to go, it is unlikely that we will rise much further and possible that we could drop a place or two lower, but pride has been restored and funny things happen when teams get on a roll. With games to come against Glamorgan and Surrey away, plus Worcestershire and Leicestershire at home, there are plenty of games and points still to be won.

I had a look at the footage of yesterday's play on the ECB website and the bowling of Mark Footitt was top drawer stuff. I'm not sure how Jacques Rudolph - or indeed anyone - could have played the ball that removed him and it was no real surprise, in seeing such a ball, that we lost four wickets in reaching today's victory target. The value of yesterday's partnership between Tony Palladino and David Wainwright became quite clear and we'd not have wanted to be chasing over 150, that's for sure.

The batting is sure to be the main focus of winter recruitment, our current line-up functional rather than reliable. Eighteen batting bonus points in twelve matches, the least in the country, tells its own sorry tale and we need a couple more people in the batting order who can offer more than sporadic success. By the same token, players improve over the winter and there will be hope and expectation that this will happen with some current members of the batting order.

The main seam bowling looks excellent, but in such form Mark Footitt must surely attract higher recognition. It would also be extraordinary if he were to stay at this level of fitness and credit is due to the physiotherapy and strength/conditioning staff that have kept him that way in a golden summer. The player deserves the utmost praise, thoroughly rewarding the club's faith in him and running in hard to bowl fast all season.

It was interesting to see Notts Viewer's assessment of him below yesterday's piece, though the bowler's old frailties with fitness appear to run deep. Like a good few before him, I don't think Mark realised the work that is required to bowl quickly at first-class level in his younger days, but since back surgery sorted a bulging disc now has a core that finally supports his raw talent to bowl fast. The ability to do that is given to very few cricketers; that to sustain such pace for fifteen to twenty overs a day over six months is a precious commodity indeed.

Tom Taylor's emergence is gratifying, though fans should not expect too much too soon. My understanding is that the young player will be going to university next summer, important for his long-term career prospects but likely meaning that we would be short of his services in the early season. Graeme Welch will be aware that his work load needs monitored and more so that he needs greater back up than a group of promising tyros, especially if it means more work is to fall on that most willing and able of work horses, Tony Palladino.

All that is for the future, but for now let us enjoy the present. Focus switches to one-day cricket this weekend and whether, after a game against Worcestershire on Friday in the T20, we can make a better fist of fifty-over cricket.

I remain to be convinced, at this early stage of the squad's evolution, but I await their performances with interest.

In closing, a couple of weeks back I wrote that a change in Derbyshire's fortunes was going to need a special performance or two.

It is immensely gratifying to report that there has been a collective holding up of hands to do just that.


Anonymous said...

A great performance all round and now we need to keep the momentum going.

How do you see the RLC going Peakfan? Will we have a full strength squad or will we look to rest players?


Peakfan said...

Think we will go with a strong side to start Harry. Its a competition to be won and we have no championship cricket until the end of August so let's try and compete! More tomorrow...

Martin Edwards said...

We've been given some hope! The reason why this season has been especially disappointing is that the squad at the start of the season was stronger than has usually been the case. There was a huge difference between the second day performance here, and the disastrous second day of the season, when a strong position was frittered away. Encouraging, yes, though I am sure you are right and that significant recruits are also needed.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that you believe Tom Taylor will be off to university next year, Peakfan. Whilst I believe, due to his emergence, it would be a shame to see him go (although obviously good for the lad), I do think we'd still be reasonably well covered with the youngsters coming through. Cotton and Cork have both experience the first team this year and will benefit from such outings. There's also Higginbotham, who impressed me when I saw him last year, but doesn't seem to be getting a look in at the 4 day stuff and I wonder if he'll be exiting us this winter. I'd be happy to see us sign a bowler (a Hannon-Dalby or a Richard Jones perhaps) but feel that any money available for signings would be best going on batters, as that is where we need it. As I've already said, Guppy and A.N.Other proven player - like a Ned Eckersley or such like perhaps? Thoughts?

What was most pleasing about the Glamorgan game was that, as mentioned above, when we had the upper hand we went for the kill. We didn't let partnerships build, taking wickets at vital moments to quell any Glamorgan momentum. All in all, a top effort by the lads.