Friday, 29 May 2015

Derbyshire v Lancashire T20 Blast

Lancashire 127-9 (Davies 41, White 3-21, Palladino 2-22, Cotton 2-26)

Derbyshire 128-5 (Amla 51, Dilshan 38)

Derbyshire won by 5 wickets

For all the protestations in some quarters of non-attendance because of our form, as well as the presence of Sky cameras, a good-sized crowd attended the 3aaa County Ground tonight.

And heavens to betsy, didn't we turn in a fine performance?

In the past couple of weeks I have excused defeats because of a lack of experience and there has been negativity in some quarters, the rationale of their counter-argument being that younger players needed to take responsibility. and justify their places. I disagreed then and do now. Young players will come on in their own time as they get to know their games. As supporters we must enjoy their successes, share their own frustration in failure and watch their gradual, but definite development.

Tonight we saw the benefit of experience. Tony Palladino and Wayne White were back and offered much to the bowling. Tillakaratne Dilshan's bowling was clever and added much-needed and economical variety, while youngsters Ben Cotton and Shiv Thakor bowled with common sense and considerable skill.

We had our traditional wobble as the finishing line approached, largely down to the quest to do so quickly, but it didn't matter too much by that stage. That was because Dilshan and Hashim Amla led off with a stand of 93 that largely rendered us collapse-proof.

The return and introduction of such players would improve any team, but there was a vigour, passion and commitment of the whole team in the field. The ground fielding was excellent, the catching sound (Amla's boundary catch a highlight) and the throwing swift and accurate. Dilshan's reputation at point is undimmed at 38, while his tight spell showed his all-round value.

I was impressed by all the bowlers. Tony Palladino bowled straight and varied his pace, while the return of Wayne White added one-day nous  with the ball, as it would have added depth to the batting had he been required. Best of all, perhaps, was Ben Cotton, whose ability to fire the ball into the block hole was as striking as the extra pace he has gained from last season.

Then came the big cheeses. Whatever other memories we hold of this season in years to come, watching Amla and Dilshan walk out to open our batting will be a lasting one. In his last appearance, Amla made a sparkling fifty, reaching it with an extraordinary, one-handed flick off his legs for six. He may not have been at his most dominant in our colours, but hearing Graeme Welch talk of his influence was telling.

In his first appearance, Dilshan was impressive, if understandably a tad rusty. Not everything came off the middle, but enough did to suggest he will be an asset when he gets his land legs and some Derbyshire air in his lungs.

There were some undignified, bucolic swipes after the Lord Mayor's show, more suited to the village green than the County Ground, but tonight was one for celebration.

The first win of the season and, to boot, one that hinted it may not be the last. Add Nathan Rimmington to the attack and Wayne Madsen to the batting and we could get a respectable placing in the group. I'll not suggest we are now going to take it by storm, but there were indicators tonight that we are mastering some of the main disciplines of T20 cricket.

If we have learned from the way that Amla and Dilshan milked the bowling around for singles when there was nothing else there, the future may contain more wins than the recent past.

More from me tomorrow.

Postscript - good to hear Tom Poynton behind the stumps again tonight, keeping the field on their toes and producing excellent glove work. As indeed did his counterpart for Lancashire, Alex Davies, who looks a fine prospect.

Anyone else think he looks like Chris Read of Nottinghamshire?


Sam said...

Terrific effort from the team, the best fielding performance we've had in some time. Really hard to fault them, Palladino and Dilshan in the middle gave them nothing to hit, and I think we showed how important it is to take wickets in the power play. Heck, it's happened against us far too often. Alex Davies came in at the end and batted really well, he looks a quality player, and it'll be interesting to see how his career turns out compared to Harvey Hosein with them being a similar age. I'd be interested to know how fast Ben Cotton was bowling, they don't show it anymore on the big screen which is disappointing.

It was a sight to behold watching Amla and Dilshan opening the batting for little old Derbyshire, two legends of the modern game really showed their class and it was disappointing when they both got out in quick succession. The middle order still looks a problem though, and whilst I think the promotion of Poynton to 3 was laudable and moving Wes and Ches down to give us a bit of strength down the order is a sign that they've realised it, I'm not sure a man with a T20 average of ten should be that high up. Better to go with Thakor up the order I think, he certainly did well at 3 in the pre season tour. We're also going to have to replace Amla at the top of the order for the next game. Perhaps a good time to bring Ben Slater in to T20?

Marc said...

No complaints from me. We witnessed a professional display which included getting most of the basics right. Cotton looks impressive as did all those who bowled. I was surprised how poorly Lancashire batted,perhaps feeling sorry for us after the four day match. I feel we have to apply a little caution and not run away with the idea we have suddenly cracked this format. There was enough of a collapse again to remind us that chasing 150 plus,or even setting that sort of total is by no means a formality.

Poynton did a sound job behind the stumps but he has show little evidence in his senior outings to suggest he can reclaim his place via his batting. Good to see Hughes come away unbeaten and provide further evidence he is maturing as a player. Dilshan will give us a real boost but without Amla some of our other batsmen will have to do better than they have up to now. Good performance,good result. Let us ensure this is not a false dawn.