Monday, 15 September 2014
Surrey v Derbyshire day one
Derbyshire 164-5 (Madsen 48 not)
Writing tonight's blog sees me having a similar problem to the promoters of those old rock 'n' roll revues in 1950s America. How do you sort top billing between Elvis, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard?
More appositely for our purpose - who gets top billing? Six-gun Footitt or Seven-up Hosein?
That was quite a day of cricket. Surrey appeared to be comfortable, if not entirely trouble-free at lunch, when Wayne White had continued his impressive return to the county with two wickets and Harvey Hosein (pictured) had pouched his first two victims in first-class cricket.
Afterwards, they were simply blown away by the Derbyshire howitzer. Footitt steamed in and the Surrey batsmen largely gave catching practice to Hosein and the close field, as he was simply too quick for them.
Seven victims on debut is perhaps something Harvey dreamed about and it's not something he can or will do on a regular basis in the future. All he can do is hold those that come his way, which he did quite admirably today. Great stuff from a young player of real potential and incredibly heartening.
Footitt now has 72 wickets at less than twenty runs each and surely has to get an England Lions chance this winter. If he doesn't, the selectors lose any credibility that remains, as his record in division one last year suggested that the level isn't an issue. This year he has been a gale-force wind blowing through the defences of batsmen across the land and few have fancied it. Sure, there are still times when he loses line and length, but he's not alone in that. When it goes wrong for him it tends to be spectacularly so, but when it goes right...it is electric to watch.
There was a time, back in the 1980's, when pretty much every county had at least one genuine (usually overseas) quick and batsmen had to be fast on their feet to cope. Today there are very few genuine quick bowlers in the world game and, as member of a select band, Footitt is deserving of elevation to see if he is the real deal. I can vouch for a few batsmen who have been dismissed or hit by Mark this year who might just speak on his behalf...
Credit also to Ben Cotton for a less spectacular opening day in senior cricket, but one in which he bowled steadily and picked up his first wicket at first-class level. He is another who has impressed me and with hard work he could become the real deal.
When we batted, it seemed to be with a tad too much gay abandon. If the ball's there to be hit, then it needs put away, but I think a few people will be disappointed with breezy knocks that amounted to nothing of genuine substance when they got back to the dressing room. Four an over is fine, but not when you lose a wicket for every eight being bowled.
Apart from, that is, Maddo the Magnificent, unbeaten on 48 and a further 48 from his thousand for a second successive year. He really is a wonderful cricketer and a class act. It was entirely appropriate that as the day came to a close, young Harvey Hosein walked to the wicket with six overs to go in the day to join a batsman who could talk him through the undoubted nerves and set him at ease.
Seven catches, equalling the record set (twice) by the greatest of them all, Bob Taylor AND seeing the day through to the close unbeaten with the skipper.
Carlsberg don't do days.
But if they did...
Harvey, the autograph requests start here, lad. One game into your career and you're in the record books.