Sunday, 12 April 2015
Cambridge MCCU v Derbyshire day 1
Cambridge MCCU 32-5 (Footitt 2-23, Taylor 2-8)
Ignore the fact that we weren't playing an especially strong side, as you can only ever beat what is in front of you. The bottom line is that, as opening days of the season go, we cannot have had one so dominant in our club history.
I'm no statistician, but I'll wager a few pounds that there have been few cases of teams scoring over 200 in each of the first two sessions of a game. If the game plan was to go out, score big and bowl them out twice, then we carried that out to the letter today.
The word 'domination' doesn't quite do it justice, because from the moment that Billy Godleman took five boundaries in an over, Derbyshire's batsmen took the student attack apart. Ben Slater was unlucky to be 'strangled' down the legside, but Godleman batted well and Martin Guptill (pictured), in the company of Wayne Madsen, accelerated past the two hundred mark by lunchtime. Yes, you read that right, lunchtime.
Afterwards, Guptill hit successive sixes from the first two balls of the afternoon as he and the skipper added 215 in 29 overs. The genial Kiwi sailed past his century and then cut loose before retiring, having just taken 24 runs from an over. How many he would have made had he batted on is anyone's guess, but in retiring he allowed Wes Durston valuable time in the middle. Alex Hughes failed, but someone always does on such days, before Shiv Thakor and Harvey Hosein underlined their talent with a century stand in just seventeen overs.
There was an air of inevitability about the centuries for Guptill and Wayne Madsen, both players of the highest class, but to see Thakor and Hosein racking up the runs was equally exciting and bodes well. Hosein's knock makes Graeme Welch's decision on his first choice wicket-keeper a very interesting one...
When the home side replied, Mark Footitt launched his season with a wicket first ball, adding another as he and Tommy Taylor destroyed the Cambridge top order.
At the end of day one, we are 503 runs ahead and the opposition have five first innings wickets left. I assume no one will argue it is a position of some dominance...
Sterner tasks lie ahead for sure, but as a statement of intent, as an assertion that we will be playing aggressive cricket, we couldn't have bettered day one of the 2015 season. The eyes of the media will doubtless have been on Kevin Pietersen at Oxford, but Derbyshire fans will sleep well tonight, very much aware that they are going to be royally entertained this summer.
Bring it on!