Derbyshire 205 (Slater 53, Elstone 48)
Glamorgan 84-2 (Thakor 2-11)
Derbyshire lead by 121 runs
All things being equal, Derbyshire did OK today.
Yes, they would have liked a bigger total, especially after Ben Slater and Scott Elstone had shared an excellent century stand and taken the score to 132-2, but they battled. I suspect the two players above will be kicking themselves for rather giving it away when well set, a crime greater, in my book, than being dismissed before you have your eye in.
After that it was something of a procession, though Shiv Thakor and Alex Hughes threatened to rebuild before being undone by a slow pitch, lack of concentration or both.
What impressed me, however, was the discipline shown by our attack. Glamorgan gifted us 34 runs, eight byes and 20 no balls the chief contributors. In an innings that lasted only 63 overs that was a poor effort, one put into perspective by our bowlers. Eight leg byes, something you can usually do little about, was all that was conceded in 32 overs of disciplined bowling.
Mark Footitt was tidy, the wicket too slow even for him, but the star turns were Shiv Thakor and debutant Matt Critchley. Thakor expressed the desire to improve his bowling under Graeme Welch and appears to have done so, regularly pitching in with wickets. When he and Critchley bowled together today, the scoreboard stopped moving, both of them finding a good line and length.
At 18 the young leggie did very well. We would have understood if he dropped a couple short or bowled the odd full toss, but his four overs - a spell of sensible length from the skipper - cost only five runs and will ensure that he sleeps well tonight.
He might get a chance to do more of that over the next two days, as the weather forecast for Cardiff is on the grim side of dire. High winds and heavy showers tomorrow, followed by heavy rain on Wednesday. While our hosts are probably ahead at this stage of the game, I don't think it is a major advantage and simply cannot see enough time remaining in this game for either side to force a positive result.
In closing, I had a comment today and a separate email suggesting that we carry too small a squad and should have had a contingency for the current injury situation.
I disagree completely. You have to expect injuries but perhaps not on the scale we have had this week, perhaps only exceeded by the situation at the IPro recently. Yet no county can carry enough 'spare' senior players to slot in - partly because they couldn't afford them, also because they wouldn't be happy playing second team cricket on senior player salaries.
We need to ride the storm, trust in the magic hands of Jamie Pipe and hope that all is well - or at least, improved - for the visit of Northamptonshire this weekend.
I'll be there for that one and am looking forward to it immensely.