Monday, 11 May 2015

Derbyshire v Northamptonshire day 2

Derbyshire 343 and 76-0
Northants 324 (Willey 103, Cobb 95, Taylor 3-72, Footitt 3-91)

Derbyshire lead by 95 runs

Today's play at the 3aaa County Ground mirrored that of the first, with early wickets going down before lunch, prior to a recovery being mounted by a late innings partnership. As Critchley and Taylor put on 162 for the eighth wicket yesterday, so Willey and Cobb put on 163 for the seventh today, after we had them in real trouble at lunch.

In the morning session we bowled well and caught even better, a good spell of cricket spoiled only by some no balls that we could have lived without. The seamers all took wickets and we looked a good team.

After lunch, David Willey and Josh Cobb came at us hard, but there appeared a lessening in intensity from the morning that helped them. Footitt hit the latter on the helmet, which necessitated treatment, but afterwards they played many a lusty stroke that saw the people disappear to all parts. They were always likely to, as dynamic T20 players, and we did well to eventually secure a slender 19-run lead.

Matt Critchley couldn't repeat his heroics of yesterday with the ball, but he has a nice, high action and got enough to turn and lift to cause checked and false strokes. While both batsmen lifted him for sixes, he baffled both with his googly and will look forward to bowling on the fourth day.

Ben Slater and Chesney Hughes then batted well in the final session to take the lead to 95 with two days to go. The visitors will not fancy anything over 300 on the last day, so tomorrow - especially the first session - is vital for both sides.

Northamptonshire bat low, but the ball is starting to keep low, so they will not fancy a big chase. Alex Wakely, who missed this innings with a bruised hand, is likely to bat in the second innings, but we need to set a target that gives us every chance of a second win of the season.

The groundwork has been done. Let's see if we can lay the foundations for victory tomorrow.

Postscript - once again, thanks to all those whose company I shared and enjoyed today. The day passed too quickly but there are many worse places to be than Derby in the sunshine.

Driving home tomorrow - report on tomorrow's game from home...


Marc said...

We have got to stop thinking the job is done when we capture a few wickets. Twice against Lancashire,a really long time to polish off Gloucestershire and now we allow another team to fight their way out of trouble. We get into the habit of forgetting the basics and allow ourselves to become mentally sidetracked into doing things differently.The more senior bowlers are just as culpable as the younger ones for falling into this trap. We have to solve this problem quickly if we are to avoid repetitions.

We have a solid platform now on which to build a challenging second innings total.We have to be careful not to bat Northamptonshire out of the game entirely. I feel our best chance of winning is by giving the visitors a theoretical chance of winning themselves. We don,t have to go berserk with the bat but we should be looking to score at a healthy rate and thereby give ourselves maximum time to bowl them out again. By tomorrow the pitch could be somewhat problematic to bat on.

Peakfan said...

I see your point Marc, but as you will read from tonight's post, we have to accept that opponents won't lie over and die to suit us.

They all have good players who, on occasion, will be better than anything we can throw at them. It happens in the game, always has and always will.

I think Madsen got it right tonight and has to be willing to rotate his bowlers tomorrow - try Elstone, Chesney and himself if required - to winkle out the opposition.

It won't be easy, that's for sure, but as always, the morning offers the best chance for inroads, as it always does at Derby.