Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Derbyshire v Worcestershire day 3

I'm not sure if this is the day when we let Worcestershire off the hook, or if it is one in which they underlined the fighting qualities that will assert their championship credentials.

I had expectations - not as impressive as those of Charles Dickens - that we would get a first innings lead of some description, but the Worcestershire tail wagged with the alacrity of that of the world's happiest dog.

Perhaps we could have done better, but credit the batsmen and, to be fair, the runs being scored suggest that the wicket has not suddenly turned into a devil track, despite the early-game protestations that the bounce was erratic.

Top marks go to the remarkable Mr Footitt, who, in taking six wickets for the third time this summer, reached sixty wickets in what has been an outstanding season. At the same time he took his 150th wicket for the county and he deserves full recognition for his season's work and a level of fitness that must have seemed a pipe dream in his Nottinghamshire days

He now needs only four wickets to move ahead of Saeed Ajmal in the wicket-taking stakes.With three games to go after this one, that is highly likely to happen.

When our turn came to bat, Billy Godleman and Ben Slater reinforced their positive first innings impression and made fifties. Their dismissal should have been followed by those of Chesney Hughes and Wayne Madsen, both dropped at slip by Daryl Mitchell, at which point the game might have tipped towards the visitors.

It will be a fascinating final day with all three results possible. We should see the ambition of our visitors at the very least..a win comes close to sealing the title, a draw would keep them ahead of the pack. Early in the game they looked a little like us in 2012, approaching the finishing line but running out of steam almost too rapidly.

If they win this they would be worthy champions, but Derbyshire's players can be proud of running them close so far. For all we seemed to lose a little intensity today, it's been a good effort.

Off the pitch, news came today that Cheteshwar Pujara will indeed play against Glamorgan next week. Visa niceties complete, one of the world's best players of spin bowling will be available to bat on two wickets that usually offer it in abundance.

What's not to like?


Marc said...

There is no doubting we let Worcestershire off the hook. I was expecting to see a lead of at least 80 but it wasn,t to be. Apart from the excellent Footitt and to a lesser extent Durston,we were rather ordinary today.

Credit to Slater and Godleman who both batted well,though they will no doubt be slightly unhappy at not seeing the day out. Madsen and Hughes both enjoyed a reprive and live to fight tomorrow,though I can,t see this game ending in anything other than a draw. It,s not the worst result but we need to learn some lessons on how to polish teams off when we have them on the rack.

Daniel Smith said...

Perhaps we were a bit too much like England in not being able to get rid of the tail. However, Worcestershire are top because they deserve to be there. The fact that we are competing with them and may even still beat them is definitely worth high-lighting. It didn't seem possible a few months ago.

I'm hoping we declare with a lead of 250, giving ourselves two sessions to force a result. We've nothing to lose by doing that, but Worcestershire have so we might just steal it. All the same it promises to be a good day of cricket.