Tuesday, 23 September 2014
Derbyshire v Leicestershire day 1
I'm not convinced that this one will run until day four, so my cricket-watching on this short family break will likely be truncated. Still, if the summer ends with a home win, few will complain.
Many congratulations go tonight to Ben Slater (pictured), who scored his maiden century for the club. It was an innings that dug us out of a hole and was well-deserved. Young Ben has perhaps snuck under the radar a little in the analysis of our bright young things, but, as Sir Geoffrey Boycott may have said on more than one occasion, "roons are roons." No matter that he will face better attacks in his career, he will always remember a first ton and those runs look the same in the scorebook, no matter who was bowling.
In the process his season average eased north of forty. Any batsman would be pleased with such a return and I am delighted for the lad and his family. It was the ideal way to celebrate the award of a new two-year contract today and I am sure that we will celebrate plenty more centuries in the summers that lie ahead.
The rest of the batting was sketchy. Cheteshwar Pujara found himself on the end of a dismissal that ranks either as unlucky or careless, depending on your viewpoint, while Wes seemed to be going like a train when he went somewhat off-track and hit the ball down the throat of deep mid-wicket. A century seemed there for the taking and he will be disappointed to miss out.
There were a few late blows from Tony Palladino and Ben Cotton, the former expected now, the latter seeming to have a fair bit to offer with the bat, but we might have hoped for 300 at least from 186-3, the total when Wes departed.
I think Alex Hughes is ready for a break after a long first season and Wayne White needs to work on his batting over the winter to restore his game to the genuine all-rounder status it was in his Leicestershire days.
Yet further congratulations were due in the evening gloom as Mark Footitt took his hundredth wicket of the summer in all competitions. There are hardly the adjectives to describe Mark's efforts this summer, especially when one considers the number of games he has played in comparison to his earlier career.
A second wicket for Tony Palladino before the close saw Leicestershire in some trouble at 25-2 by the close.
All things being equal, our trip down south should see me at the County Ground to see their position deteriorate tomorrow.
Not a vintage day for Derbyshire by any means, but a memorable one for Ben Slater and Mark Footitt - and we're currently in the box seat.