Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Derbyshire v Gloucestershire One-Day Trophy

Tomorrow night, at the end of the big match between Derbyshire and Gloucestershire, I hope I am able to repeat the words of the immortal Cliff Gladwin in connection with our performance.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

That's what we are needing. Someone to stamp his authority on the game and ensure that we come out on the right side of the result. What happens at Old Trafford will dictate our progress in the competition, but Graeme Welch is absolutely right in his assertion that we focus on what we can control.

There's a Derbyshire squad unchanged from the loss at Scarborough for this one and rightly so. A side that has played good cricket throughout the competition hasn't suddenly become poor and there is enough talent in the squad to win this game.

There may have been a temptation to omit Scott Elstone after a poor run in the competition, but he has gone out and scored runs at club and second team level between times to rediscover his mojo. Elstone is a punishing bat when he gets going, a superb fielder and a surprisingly under-utilised bowler, especially in light of promising pre- and early-season form with the ball. Maybe he has carried an injury, but we could perhaps have given him a few more overs.

The name omitted from the squad, of course, is Chesney Hughes and after scoring 178 against Nottinghamshire for the second team and still not getting a look in, I'd reckon that his chances of a senior recall this summer are somewhere north of mine. The choice was always going to be between him and Elstone, with the latter's weekend runs and greater mobility in the field presumably getting him the nod.

I do feel for Hughes, but this innings, like the one at Headingley last summer, has been an oasis in a desert of barren form. Watching him at times, rightly or wrongly, he seems less motivated than some, though that could just be the natural Caribbean demeanour shining through. His talent is undeniable, but as he enters the final year of a contract next year - assuming nothing happens between times - he needs to produce something special to be considered for retention. And I will have to say that I didn't expect to be writing those words at this stage of his career.

Gloucestershire come along with a side that will be tough to beat. The Gidman brothers, Hamish Marshall and the returning Michael Klinger are all good cricketers and we will underestimate them at our peril. Yet we must focus on our strengths and a composite side from the two elevens would see a strong Derbyshire representation.

I think we'll win, then all eyes will be looking towards Old Trafford. For the first, perhaps only time, you might hear a local rendition of Lanky-lanky-lanky-lanky Lancashire.

Just the once, mind...

Postscript - there was an excellent win for the seconds today at Denby, beating Nottinghamshire by ten wickets. With wickets for Greg Cork, Jony Marsden, Will Davis and Matthew Critchley, the side chased down an easy victory target of 27.

Meanwhile the Academy beat their Durham counterparts thanks to excellent knocks from the prolific Ryan Bramwell and Elliott Savidge. There is another batch of excellent young cricketers emerging from the mini Academy and they suggest that the current conveyor belt of talent is going to continue to deposit players of first-class capabilities into the second eleven.

Their win followed one against Warwickshire, where Joss Morgan's unbeaten 73 saw them to a winning target of 226 and a win with three overs in hand.

Good work, young fellas! I'm impressed and I am sure that plenty of others are too.

Postscript 2 - Today's forecast doesn't appear conducive to a fifty-over game...let's hope we can win the toss then...

1 comment:

Marc said...

I can,t see this game going anywhere near the scheduled 100 overs,if Tomasz Schafernaker,s forecast proves accurate. For that reason alone,I would be very tempted to include Chesney Hughes,as we may find ourselves in a position of having to floor the accelerator.

Elstone may well have done enough in the stiffs to retain his place,so for me it would either be Godleman or North who makes way. I doubt this will happen though.

We can only concentrate on own own match and we have to get it spot on if we hope to emerge with two points. The fact that Gloucestershire are already through to the knock out stage may prove an advantage to us,but they are a useful side and we will have to be at the top of our game. If we lose the so be it,but hopefully it won,t be to the weather.