Friday, 22 May 2015

Leicestershire v Derbyshire T20

Derbyshire 163-6 (C. Hughes 59, Godleman 38 not)
Leicestershire 164-3 (O'Brien 47 not)

Leicestershire won by seven wickets

I wrote last night that Derbyshire should win this game and for once, by the end of the Power play it looked like we might set a total that would enable us to do just that.

58-1 from six overs should have been the foundations for a score of 180-200, which will win you eight out of ten matches in this format. Despite the loss of Hashim Amla, who has thus far been a major disappointment, we were well set, with Wes 'n' Ches going nicely.

Sadly, that was the point when once again the wheels came off. Inside 21 balls we were 77-5, thus replicating events at Headingley last week and the impetus was gone. Well though Chesney and Billy Godleman battled to get the innings back on track, only 19 came from the last three overs and 163, against a side with some good batsmen, never looked enough, as I posted on Twitter at the interval between innings.

I'd have preferred to have been wrong, but the home side always looked in control and we didn't have enough runs to leave them needing to take risks. It was a defeat - and not an easy one to take.

It is hard to get away from the fact that it will be another long, hard T20 campaign. I was happy to write off last week against a good Yorkshire side, but will take some convincing that this is a strong Leicestershire team. By extension, this was a bad game to lose.

It is a young side, lacking players who would be certainties for inclusion were they fit and there is much work to do to make it a competitive one in this format. It is frustrating that a side that plays excellent cricket in the four-day game looks like a fish out of water in T20. Yet until we can lose a wicket and rebuild with intelligence, composure and skill, we won't win matches.

There were forty dot balls tonight in our innings, or almost seven overs. Leicestershire had thirty in their innings and on such detail are games won and lost in this unforgiving format. Chesney Hughes said after the game that we are close to a winning formula, but for me there are several things we need to change:

1 Fine bowler as he is, this is no competition for Mark Footitt. At his pace, edges and mishits are going for four and we simply cannot afford ten an over with our fragile batting.

2 We need to include Alex Hughes, who offers something with bat and ball, as well as being brilliant in the field. It seems at the moment that he is the easy man to drop.

3 We need to give Tom Knight a go. One of the cleanest hitters in the club, he should be given an opportunity, whether he bowls or not. If he went early, he would do no worse than the current middle order.

4 We need Tillakaratne Dilshan to produce all-round form and Nathan Rimmington to get fit. Thus far we have had no overseas input and a team as young as ours needs someone to take a leading role.

We are really missing Wayne Madsen and Tony Palladino, while a fit and firing Wayne White, a proven player in this format, would make a difference too.

Sadly, that's a lot more than 'being close'.

Disappointed tonight?

Yeah, definitely.


Mark said...

You really can't see us winning a game in this format, this season. Amla seems to be on easy street, what a huge let down so far, and the rest of the batsmen aren't capable of big hitting and quick run scoring. As you say Peakfan, it's just shoddy coaching picking Footitt for t20, I think the lad needs a rest already. Welch needs to stop accepting these type of displays, and start making some correct decisions. Laughing stock again!!.

notoveryet said...

Alex Hughes wasn't dropped, he's the latest broken finger, from yesterday's "second XI" games against the Unicorns. It's worth noting that the side for these two games was actually tonight's squad, which suggests to me a level of concern among the management about performances that doesn't reflect the upbeat public messages.

Mutn said...

Happy to confirm Peaky's view of doom!

Too many alas don't play cricket with the mix of swagger and ability needed to be successful in this format especially .

I know we've had injuries, and I know we'd have liked more input from our Overseas stars, but too many alas are playing, AND LOOKING LIKE losers !

Peakfan said...

I dont think it shoddy Mark more a misplaced optimism with your namesake. I would sooner he is kept fit for the stuff that we are better at.
I hadnt picked that up re Hughes notoveryet so thanks for noting. If fit he would be in my side.
it isnt a view of doom Mutn.We can win games IF we get key personnel fit. Any team would stuggle with the injuries we have had this year but we need top players fit and two overseas recruits doing their bit.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

We are awful at this format. I wouldn't care normally, as for me the 4 day game is king, but this is a competition that can pay the bills and our absolute ineptitude cannot be ignored.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree re the injury situation, but it does make you wonder if T20 is becoming a mental block with some of the lads maybe. If so, then it wouldn't be a surprise at all given our history in the competition. We will be in a better place when the injured guys start to come back, and hopefully the overseas will fire in the competition soon. Glass half full for me, but I'm no lover of T20 anyway.

Marc said...

Not good enough by half. I think it,s high time we stopped looking for excuses and concentrated more on our planning and how we might set our stall out to win. We keep making the same mistakes over and over again. No consistency shown by most of the players and avoidable errors of judgement shown by the management.

The season is in danger of imploding in front of our eyes and it would be a brave or foolish man who bet on us coming away from Lancashire with anything other than a defeat behind us. The pre season optimism is evaporating and unless we halt the slide soon we can forget all about promotion. It,s not too late to turn things around but it soon will be.

Anonymous said...

With all the great work that is happening off the pitch, the marketing team must be banging their heads against a firm wall. Qualification, in most supporters' mind is already a big doubt and that is before we have played a home game in the competition. As mentioned by Tim, the cash generated by 4000 paying customers on a Friday night cannot be ignored and I would guess the receipts from one game could match half the takings from a four-day season?

For me, the game next week is already a must win, and whilst Graeme Welch has far more experience in first class cricket than any of use commenting on here, it would be good to see him change the line up and approach.


Roger said...

We've never learnt regarding playing Footitt in 20/20. Every season he costs us runs and a rate we cannot afford yet still every year we continue to play him. Keep him for the 4-day, even the 1-day comps but not 20/20.

The season went downhill for me when Guptill was called up early. This season has started off how Derby county's last two months finished. One thing after another catapulting us to failure.

It's time for me to stop going for the big names on the Overseas and bring in someone who is here for the whole season. Guys like Rogers and Di Venuto from years gone by have been fabulous. We don't need a star name, as the disruption around them being here, then the next minute they are not is far too much.

Peakfan - every year you seem to be so optimistic pre season. We are not one of the bigger players in div 2, 20/20 will and always will be a shocker for us because we simply don't have good enough players. The sad thing for me is two losses already, lose in front of the sky cameras to Lancs, and crowds will dwindle again. If we don't look like qualifying, I won't be going to the games and I'm sure I'm in the same boat as hundreds of others.

Mark said...

Two defeats against Lancs and alarm bells will be ringing already. Like Roger says the quality in the squad just isn't there, just average to good players at best. There's none you would put in the quality dept, bar Alma who has done it all, but not yet for us. Winning has to start now!