Friday, 19 June 2015
Derbyshire v Leicestershire T20
Derbyshire won by 17 runs
By definition, Derbyshire have now improved in T20, winning their second game of the season to better last season's tally with plenty of cricket still to play.
That they did so was largely down to skipper Wes Durston, whose barnstorming innings of 88 gave us a total we could defend. Wes now has five our six top innings in the format and is a very good cricketer, especially when the requisite support allows him to go for his shots.
He got that down the order last night. T20 games are largely won by one player batting as lead and others lending appropriate support and so it proved. There was a better 'feel' to our batting line-up last night, not just because it came off. The return of Alex Hughes, a player I rate highly, was welcome after injury and his cameo at the end, including consecutive sixes in 21 from eleven balls, pushed Derbyshire from a competitive total to one that was going to stretch any side if we bowled well. While only one run, the difference between eight an over and over nine in this competition should not be underestimated.
As they have already proved, this is a better Leicestershire side than recent past and they have some strong players down the order, yet our bowlers held their nerve. Nathan Rimmington's first over went for nine, but he did very well afterwards and Wayne White reinforced the positive impact he has had on the attack with another good spell.
So too did Alex Hughes, whose first three overs went for only fifteen runs and wasn't hit for a boundary until his last, by which time it was too late. He removed the dangerous Mark Cosgrove and although Tom Wells battled hard towards the end of the innings, Derbyshire remained in control of this one and ran out comfortable winners.
And so to Worcester tonight, where I would expect the same team to take the field against a home side that beat Lancashire at Old Trafford last night. It will be a tough game against a good side, but as we have seen, it just needs someone to raise the game and deliver that special performance. Hamish Rutherford will make his debut, replacing the largely disappointing Tillakaratne Dilshan and I look forward to seeing how the talented young New Zealander does in the coming weeks. He has a battle to get into a strong batting side for his country, but good performances at county level, as Martin Guptill knows all too well, can reap dividends.
In closing this morning, warm congratulations to Mark Footitt, on his selection for the pre-Ashes training camp. It is richly deserved and recognition, not just of excellent form over the last three summers, but also a level of fitness that once seemed unlikely in the lad.
I hope it goes well for him and wish him the very best. That he will be missed by Derbyshire is undeniable, but the 'buzz' we would all get from seeing 'Mark Footitt -Derbyshire' on an England team sheet is equally so.
It is within touching distance now, Mark. Show them what you can do..