Sunday, 27 July 2014

Leicestershire v Derbyshire Royal London One-Day Cup

Leicestershire 248-8 (Boyce 64, Footitt 5-59)

Derbyshire 251-3 (Madsen 105 not, Chanderpaul 52 not)

Derbyshire won by seven wickets 

Well, my friends, it would appear that while we need to learn plenty over twenty, we're nifty over fifty...

Two stunningly impressive one-day efforts by Derbyshire in two days saw us get off to the best possible start in the Royal London One-Day Cup and in the process we're starting to look like a team - a proper team.

We're not perfect yet by a long chalk, but the quality of displays this weekend must have thrilled Graeme Welch as it has done any Derbyshire fan, near or far. In two days we've beaten the side I saw as the best in the group, closely followed by another that has been a one-day bogey side in recent summers.

The biggest surprise in this one was the margin of victory, because we won this with ease. Derbyshire and run chases have so often gone together like a dress suit and moccasins, but this was totally professional from start to finish. While the bowlers did well and sub-250 seemed below par on a decent track, we've all seen such chases subside with regularity in the past.

Not today.

The Leicestershire tally was less than seemed likely at one stage thanks to another five-wicket haul for Mark Footitt, who also put Josh Cobb out of the rest of the match with a fierce blow to the hand. We must accept that there may be a few wild ones in the Footitt repertoire, though less than in his earlier years, but he is a potent weapon that we are lucky to have. To use an old line from Dad's Army, they don't like it up 'em. Very few do, anyhow and Mark is as capable as anyone of making batting an awkward proposition.

A couple of nights ago, I suggested that his one-day form was the reason for his omission from the England Lions squad, but a few more displays like this will make him hard to ignore. There was good support from his colleagues and at the halfway point it seemed to be a game we could win.

It never looked in doubt. Wes and Billy got us off to a solid start with 62 off ten overs and although Scott Elstone went cheaply as he did yesterday, the skipper appeared to be in prime touch from the outset. When Godleman went at 123 we essentially had 27 overs to double the score and Madsen, with the support of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, got us across the line with five overs to spare and with sublime professionalism.

Centuries in successive days for Captain Fantastic. His T20 batting this summer went to a new level, displaying a range of shots, timing and placement that has been rare in Derbyshire colours, while also highlighting the basics of rotating the strike. He and Chanderpaul did that beautifully today, clearly illustrating with a succession of singles that you don't need to hit the cover off the ball to score quickly. It was an absolute delight to follow such a display.

That may have been Shivnarine Chanderpaul's last innings for Derbyshire, as he returns to the Caribbean to prepare for international duty None of us know if he will return another year, though the thinking money would be on a different overseas player, but if the winter marked his retirement from the international game - and we could afford him - there would be worse calls than him returning in a Kolpak role.

As we know more about that, a full appreciation will appear, but for now he can reflect on unbeaten hands of 29 and 51 in his two fifty over appearances, together with an average of fifty in the championship. Maybe not the force of his younger days, but then, few of us are.

Then again, he didn't really let us down, did he?

Top effort this weekend lads.

And thanks, Shiv. It has been a privilege.

6 comments:

Mark said...

Crisis, what crisis?. Madsen leading from the front again as usual and what a player he is. Best player outside of the top flight by far and we're very lucky to have him. Piece of you know what this Fifty over lark. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, what a weekend ! Captain Fantastic at his sublime best and plenty of big performances from Wes, Footy, Shiv, Wainers and Billy.When the top order comes off we can be ultra competitive.

Let's also recognise that it takes a team effort to win games like these and today's miserly economy rates from Dino and Alex helped build pressure for Footy to claim the spoils.Added to that, some key fielding moments over the two days show we are doing well in all disciplines.

Well done to all concerned.Looking forward to Thursday.

Brian.

Anonymous said...

Mark Footitt has improved tremendously over the last season from being a fringe player to one of the star players in the championship side.

Martin

Anonymous said...

When the skipper is in this sort of form there isn't many better. Imperious!

Good to see a solid start to this comp, but lets not get ahead of ourselves as that's all it is, a start.

Chris from Crewe.

Jeff said...

What a weekend!! To beat a probably full strength Hampshire in that fashion and then follow-up with a win over bogey-team Leicestershire was excellent - the first 10-overs of Hampshire's innings apart -.

Hopefully, the team can maintain this form on Thursday against Worcestershire. It'll be interesting to see what Worcestershire do regarding team selection - they have their T20 QF against Surrey on Saturday -, I wonder if they may consider the T20 a bigger priority than the One-Day Cup and select their side accordingly.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

Wow. The best back to back One Day results in how many years?