Tuesday, 10 March 2015
Pop's Pups thrive as Whacker Thakor takes charge...
A win by 71 runs was the perfect follow-up to yesterday's victory over Worcestershire, albeit against lesser opposition. By the same token, you can only beat what is in front of you and Derbyshire's victory appears to have been ruthless and professional, only as close as it was because Ben Slater's occasional spin went for four successive sixes.
It was good to see the skipper get some time in the middle and runs after his duck yesterday, but the batting highlight was Shiv Thakor's assault on the bowling. Against any attack, 97 from 49 balls is serious stuff and with seven sixes and the same number of fours, the new recruit underlined his credentials in red felt tip pfor all to see.
Don't be fooled. Thakor is a long way from being a slogger and can play the longer game with equal skill, but he suggested today that he will be a potent weapon in the middle order, following on from his 'death' bowling yesterday.
Leicestershire have produced some very good cricketers in recent seasons, but I have every confidence that perhaps the most exciting of them all may have signed for Derbyshire and have his best years lying in front of him. He will face tougher challenges but has made an immediate impact and you can only hope for that when joining a new team.
Then it was the bowlers turn and Messrs Cork, Taylor, Cotton and Davis, average age 20, ensured that the home side never got close. All four cemented the positive impression they have already made and shared nine wickets between them.
Which is all very exciting. A young side intelligently captained by Scott Elstone had an excellent run out and a number of players have already stated their case for the coming season. We've not seen Mark Footitt, Jon Clare or Wes Durston yet, but I am sure their chance to get a little rhythm will come in the two-day game against Worcestershire that starts tomorrow.
Graeme Welch will be sleeping well tonight, as will his coaching team. The only problem looks like fitting fifteen or sixteen in-form players into an eleven-man team. Time was when we struggled to find four to go with a handful in decent nick...
Progress, my friends. I'm quite happy with that.