Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Derbyshire v Worcestershire day four

That was as close to the perfect day as you could wish for as a Derbyshire fan.

A day that opened with news of the signing of Shiv Thakor ended with a thoroughly convincing win over the side that has topped the table for most of the season. It was our third successive win, suggesting both that the season is ending too soon and that our coaching team have, after only eight months, started to get things the way they want them.

I've seen a lot of the team in recent weeks and have been impressed. The batting looks a little more settled - more later - while the bowling is a good combination of power and skill. Having the howitzer that is Mark Footitt to open is an asset, because time and again this year he has blown away the top order, then returned to do the same with the tail. Yet the contribution of Tony Palladino should not be overlooked, despite the majority of wickets falling to spin. Six maiden overs at the start of the innings set the tone and made it clear that this was going to be no picnic. Dino did his job beautifully and its importance cannot be underestimated.

It was nice to see Wes Durston (pictured) back in the wickets with a career-best 5-19 and the team's intensity, something that has increasingly impressed me of late, was too much for Worcestershire. I wish them luck for next season, as they seem sure to go up at this stage, but would be surprised if they made much impression on the top flight without Moeen Ali and Saeed Ajmal

Their batting was functional, rather than impressive and Hampshire look a better (more affluent?) bet to go up and make a good fist of things. In Daryl Mitchell they have a very good opener, but the rest of the batting blows hot and cold and unless they can find the money for investment in the side, or can re-engage Ajmal, I suspect a tough summer lies ahead for them next year.

Still, we played an excellent game and a team game. That we were able to set a challenging target on the last innings was down to Wayne Madsen. His 98 underpinned an innings that would otherwise have gone into free fall and highighted just how good a player he is. 154 runs in the match was an impressive effort from the skipper and he is a delight to watch.

Two more comments on the game - and it was good to see Chesney Hughes finish things off. It has been a tough old summer for him  and his batting in this game didn't suggest his travails are behind him, but the return of the left arm 'darts' brought quick reward and they have been missed in all forms of the game.

And finally the wicket. This was an outstanding track for four-day cricket and the fact that the game finished in the final session of the fourth day highlights that. Good players could make runs, but there was something for all the bowlers as the game progressed and that is exactly as it should be. Top marks to Neil Godrich and his team for that.

We're heading to Cardiff in good shape and will be accompanied by Mr Pujara - I am really looking forward to seeing how he gets on. As I drove north today, it crossed my mind that a middle order of Madsen, Pujara and Thakor would be seriously impressive, should we land the Indian batting genius, for 2015. Full of eastern promise, indeed.

It's coming together, my friends...

5 comments:

Pete Kobryn said...

It is coming together for Derbyshire - that is for sure and is terrific to see !

Gary said...

I would say without doubt highlight of the summer. I'm really happy for Welch men as deserve success after lot criticism some fair but lot rash.

It makes me wonder if gulf between the two division is starting to grow. Seeing the season Northampton have could Worcester be in for similar one.

Marc said...

An excellent result which arrived out of the blue. There were solid contributions from a number of players throughout the match with Madsen and Durston the stars on the last day. Footitt,s efforts in the first innings and our second innings opening stand between Slater and Godleman were also significant factors in laying the foundations.

There seems to be an air of confidence within the team which was completely lacking for the majority of the season. It does now appear that things are beginning to take shape and with the right additions to the squad I think we have every reason to look forward to next year.

Mark said...

Result of the season so far, and confidence is coming back into our play. Pity it's a bit late in the season now, but onwards and upwards for next.

Craig @ Cricket Sales said...

Yep, was a great day!