Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Derbyshire v Lancashire day 4

I would be lying if I said that today's result and performance wasn't disappointing.

As you will have read last night, I had no real expectation that we would knock off the biggest chase in our history against an attack led by two international bowlers, on a helpful track with a swinging ball.

I did hope that we would take the game into a little longer than marginally post-lunch, however and the speed of the demise was a disappointment. Our batting is long and supporters will expect a better standard of performance and greater resilience than that, without doubt.

However, it is the first game of the season, we were playing a good team and the difference was, essentially, their four overseas players/Kolpaks. Prince and Petersen made big runs, Siddle blew away our top order in the first innings and Jarvis ran through us in the second. The irony of a team managed by a recent England coach fielding four non-qualified players is obvious, but Lancashire fans will not be worried. The end justified the means and they were on the right side of the result, as, assuming they all stay fit, they should be for much of the season. Indeed, there should be inquests at Old Trafford if they don't go up...

What about Derbyshire? Well, for much of this game we competed against a strong side, but the game ran away from us in the last session yesterday. Only the players will know if the level of intensity slackened, that having disposed of the Lancashire tail in jig time in the first innings, there was an expectation that the last pair would fold quickly. They didn't and a hundred stand completely changed the game and the mindset of those involved, as it so often does.

260-ish was gettable, 360-plus was suggesting we boldly go where no one has gone before - at least not us and not on a fourth day wicket.

We will regroup and we will come again. Today hasn't changed my expectations - maybe if we'd lost like that to Glamorgan it would have - but it has highlighted that we need to be on top of our game for 96 overs and three sessions of every day, or we will suffer.

It is a blip in the foothills of the climb and I expect a reaction to it at Bristol on Sunday.

There are plenty of positives to take from the game and more came in the second team game at Northampton, where Tom Poynton clearly confirmed that he will not allow Harvey Hosein to be first choice keeper without a fight.

Yesterday Northamptonshire racked up 448-6 declared, with Kyle Coetzer scoring an unbeaten 250 and Matt Critchley, fresh from his unbeaten 92 from 41 balls for the Academy, taking 3-69 with his leg spin.

Today, Poynton and Tom Knight combined in a stand of 163 after Scott Elstone had been dismissed for 63. Poynton made 103 from 107 balls, with nineteen fours and a six, while Knight went on to an imperious unbeaten 156, with sixteen fours and five sixes, as Derbyshire declared in turn on 364-4.

The home side had reached 146-2 in their second innings by the close, no doubt setting us a run chase tomorrow afternoon. It serves to illustrate that those outside the team want to be involved and the two Toms will get their chances as the season progresses.

Full marks to both of them for getting their heads down. I shall follow that game tomorrow with great interest.

7 comments:

mark said...

With no out and out spinner available to us at present, surely it's a no brainer to include Tom Knight in our first eleven. Very disappointing last couple of days against Lancashire, and 90% of the players need to up it for Gloucestershire. No panic yet!.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

According to the Cricinfo point we managed to chuck away of the bonus points due to a slow over rate. Poor show Derbyshire.

Anonymous said...

Judging on League bowling performances, Tom Knight would get hammered at County level....

Paul said...

Yes I agree with Mark re Tom Knight assuming he has rediscovered his bowling action. I see little point in playing 5 seamers even if one of them, Alex Hughes, was used to get the over rate back up by being asked to run back to his mark ! What an absolute disgrace that was and can have done little to help the confidence of a young player. Very poor captaincy and we still lost a point !
As well as TT bowled he cannot be allowed to saunter back to his mark or we will lose points all season!

jasper said...

We lost to the team who are favourites for promotion. No need to panic. Even David Lloyd complaining about Lancashire's overseas contingent. Prefer our strategy of competing with young homegrown talent. Onwards and upwards. Back our young guns to come good.

notoveryet said...

I think Paul makes a really good point. After a competitive morning that Lancashire shaded by only losing one wicket but still only around 160 ahead, you'd expect that Derbyshire would come out all guns firing after lunch to try to get a couple of quick wickets that would get them into the tail that collapsed so badly in the first innings. Instead, we saw a half hour in which the only objective was to get in overs as quickly (and artificially) as possible. The direct cost was only 40 odd runs but the intensity drained from the team, and never really came back. The over-rate problem had been building from the shocking over rate of the first day, when play went on more than an hour overtime, and it was extremely poor that it wasn't addressed earlier, and even poorer that it was then allowed to happen again, resulting in the point reduction.

It may not have cost us the game, but imagine how different it might have been if we'd taken a quick wicket after lunch and the last pair came together at 200-9.

Marc said...

It,s hard not to argue with the slow over rate comments and it did have a direct effect on strategy and possibly even morale. Purely from a captaincy angle,this was not one of Madsen,s better games by any stretch of the imagination,though I would not be churlish enough to suggest defeat could be blamed entirely upon him.

There is no cause for alarm at this early stage of the season,though I had a feeling from quite early on this game was going to slip away from us. In both innings we let Lancashire back into it,having made significant inroads into their batting. As a unit,the seamers were generally below par,on a pitch that offered more help than most of their figures might suggest.

We still have a worrying capacity to implode as a batting unit and if this were to become a semi regular feature over the season,you would have to question the psychological make up of the players,more than a lack of ability. If the players themselves believed we were going to walk away with this league then Lancashire have provided a timely reality check and one we fortunately have plenty of time to recover from.