Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Derbyshire v Surrey day 3

Surrey 239 and 315
Derbyshire 207 and 125

Surrey won by 222 runs

I have to make an admission here.

I left this game with an hour to go before tea, once the Surrey lead had reached 275, as there was no way that we were going to score such a total. Instead, I opted to pop into the delightful Belper Meadows ground to watch the second team. Shiv Thakor got a hundred, Alex Hughes did the same (and was still batting beautifully when I left) while Tom Knight's  bat sounded like the finest piece of willow on the circuit as he was immediately timing the ball well, with Derbyshire 350-5 against Durham.

What did I miss? A shambles. No other word for it. Bowled out in little more than a session by an attack that was made to look much better than it was by a spineless piece of batting. I wasn't there, but that wasn't even a first-choice Surrey attack. I can take losing, but not in a manner that smacks of defeatism.

The chairman apologised on Twitter tonight and I don't blame him. He and the off field team have spent a lot of time and energy in bringing in players, attracting sponsors and trying to build a team that is fit for purpose in a vibrant and improving ground. Things are improving, slowly but surely, but we keep shooting ourselves in the foot with a twelve-gauge shotgun.

The first hour today was great cricket. We bowled good lines and there was barely a shot in anger. Yet Surrey saw it out and the runs gradually came. There were two or three strong shouts for catches behind, yet the umpire's finger stayed firmly in his pocket and Surrey reached lunch with only two wickets lost in the crucial morning.

The early afternoon session was critical. Footitt ran in and bowled very quickly, could have had more than the wicket he got and gave it everything. Yet at the other end, I think largely with an eye on another slow over rate, Wes Durston bowled tight, but a long way from dangerous, off spin. We needed wickets and Surrey were able to mount their score with relative ease.

They finally made 315, of which 61 - yes, SIXTY-ONE - were extras. If we were a good batting side I would struggle to excuse that, but we are not. We are, indeed, some way removed from that right now.

There is a crisis of confidence among the batting and it makes for painful viewing. Individually we have some good players in there, but in the last two to three weeks we have lurched from one crisis to another with our attempts with the bat.

Any hopes of promotion are well and truly over now. We must play for respectability and need a far better effort than this to get even that modest aspiration under our belts.

Supporters are hurting tonight and I know exactly why, because I am.

This was poor. Shockingly poor.


Anonymous said...

yes, we are in total agreement tonight, Peakfan - very sad situation.


Mark said...

Interesting that Chris Grant was very critical tonight Peakfan, and said it wasn't acceptable with what happened to the batting. Do you feel Welch's and Sadler's positions could be under threat if results don't pick up fast?, because I'm certainly thinking that way tonight.

Totally and utterly dismayed with capitulation after capitulation, and let's pray for rain on Friday and Sunday because things aren't going to get any better in these next two matches.

Mark said...

Heard the players were kept in the dressing room for over an hour after this latest sham. Harsh words dished out then and not before time.

knacker said...

If you were in charge of one of the countys how many of our squad would you sign on a three year contract. For me there would be 4.

Marc said...

Fair play,Peakfan you haven,t tried to gloss over another dreadful defeat. There is no mitigation this time and even before this match I think we were deluding ourselves into thinking all would suddenly turn out roses.

Other priorities meant I couldn,t be there today and I can,t say i,m sorry I wasn,t. It must have been desperate stuff to watch and the saddest part of all is the result will have come as little surprise to anybody. The only option Welch has open to him is to keep shuffling the pack and pray that some players can start to justify his faith in them.

There may be some merit in trying to loan a couple of players,if for no other reason than to try and give everybody a bit of a boost. Somebody like Cosker at Glamorgan could answer our spin problems and perhaps a middle order batsman might prove useful. Sixty one extras is astonishing,even half that number would be bordering on unacceptable. Small wonder they came away with such a large total. We have a break from four day cricket and it may be a good idea to give the players one. the temptation might be to flog them to death in the nets,but the opposite approach may have a better chance of paying off. It really is very depressing and I fail to see how these problems are going to be solved.

Peakfan said...

Knacker - it is hard to argue with that assessment.
Mark - I hope not, because I have a lot of time for both of them as men, but both will be aware that professional sport is a fickle beast and patience can wear thin.
That's the issue - 'professional' - we weren't today. Profligate in the field and weak with the bat. Very poor, very disappointing.
As Welch himself has said tonight - some of these players on professional contracts need to start justifying them.

Dave said...

We looked like a Minor Counties outfit on a poor day struggling to give a patched up but enthusiastic Surrey team a decent game.Too many players appear to have no pride in their own performance, a total shambles being the outcome yet again.

knacker said...

It is a difficult position the club finds itself in. The senior management are successful guys with lots of ambition and a clear vision of what they want to achieve. The problem is the club can't generate the cash to make it a reality and the ladys of Derbyshire don't seem able to produce a steady stream of 1st class crickets. Where do we go, is the sacred cow members club defunct. Comments would be appreciated.

Sam said...

Very worrying performance today. The batting was abysmal but I think even more worrying and telling was the display in the field. The number of extras was a joke, and certainly raises questions about Tom Poynton's place in the side. It's time to bring Harvey Hosein back in, he was harshly dropped at the time in my opinion, and Poynton, whilst I'd still have him in the t20 side, hasn't justified selection in this team with either runs or gloves. Madsen's lack of invention as captain was highlighted again, and whilst we kept it tight initially, he went too defensive with his field placings, with a short leg being used all too rarely, especially in the periods before and after lunch when we could really have taken a cluster of wickets, and Wes Durston was seemingly being used as a last resort. He might not have looked dangerous, but it's very unfair to judge him when he had to bowl at set batsmen. He's better than a part time spinner, and should be captained as such! It would also have helped the over rate, which was understandably slightly below par given the selection of 4 seamers, but isn't helped by the fact that when the ball is hit to the infield for no run, the ball always gets thrown to the keeper and then back round the ring. This probably costs 10-15 seconds an over, which soon mounts up! They're not running round quickly after each over either, which is a sign that they're not "up for it", and was borne out by the batting display.

Madsen is struggling for form with the bat, and looks like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He's done the job, and by and large done it well, for 3 and a half seasons, but he must be considering whether he needs to continue. Finally, whilst he looks totally out of form, Ben Slater has at least shown, a bit like Godleman last summer, a bit of battle and determination in this match to get through it. Im backing him to come through this tough spell, and having seen half the teams I'm certainly not convinced any other side has a significantly better opening partnership in this league.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

We could easily drop 5/6 batsmen. Where are the replacements? Apart from untried kids we have no one. How did we get ourselves into this mess?

notoveryet said...

I saw all three days of this debacle, and I don't accept that it's a new low. We've done this twice against Lancashire (when Welch said he was quite happy with the performance after one of them), against Kent (when Welch praised the team's spirit) and against Essex (when Welch praised the team's hard work and discipline). We've flirted with it against Northant (when Critchley rescued us) and Gloucestershire(when Godleman rescued us). It's been happening all season, and anyone who's had the temerity to say so has been tagged as defeatist, failing to understand the long-term plan, impatience etc. Suddenly we have Chris Grant and Graeme Welch attacking the team in public for failings that they have been denying and criticising others for pointing to over the last two months.

I know the chairman has to respond to the outrage that supporters feel, but he shouldn't be attacking the players as his comments have been widely interpreted. I'm not sure he really intended this, as it would be perfectly reasonable for him to say that he was going to demand explanations for the poor performances. Welch clearly needs to placate a very angry Chris Grant, but I was dismayed by his comments tonight, which echo the desperate last words of the failed coach or manager in any sport.

"It's got to come from within. These lads have had everything they need, they just have to look within. They need to look in the mirror,as all of the management do every single day. We've done all we can for them but we can't go out to bat, bowl and field. People aren't taking responsibility. We speak about this every single day. These lads know exactly what is expected of them"

Paraphrasing this "The management is doing all it can and the players are letting us down" or "We can't be responsible for what they do when they step across the white line". If the players aren't good enough, who put them into the team? If they aren't sufficiently motivated, whose job is it to motivate them? If they haven't got the right level of fitness or mental strength, who is responsible for developing it? If they haven't got the requisite skills, who is responsible for developing it? If the lack of an effective contribution from our multitude of overseas players has been a factor in these problems, who chose them?

It's weak and self-serving for Welch to attack his players in this way whilst distancing himself and his coaching staff from any responsibility. I'm not calling for him to go, but his words tonight echo those of John Morris four years ago, which presumably contributed to the breakdown of trust between him and his players the following year. There are players in this match who I am very critical of (White, Poynton and Durston particularly for the reckless shots that destroyed any potential for a first innings lead after lunch) but I'd much rather hear Welch saying this is what I will do differently rather than placing all of the blame at the feet of the players in this wayo

notoveryet said...

The full interview by Graeme Welch with Iain O'Brien (online at Radio Derby) reinforces my earlier comments about his complete denial of responsibility for the current situation. IOB asks searching questions about the performance of the coaching staff which Welch answers only by blaming the senior players. Of course the players have responsibility, but so do the people who make decisions and send them out there, and Welch completely fails on this front. Last week, IOB said in commentary that he had offered to have a conversation with Welch about his ideas about Derbyshire's performance. It would be interesting to know if this has been taken up. If not, Chris Grant should perhaps be having the conversation with IOB himself.

Roy of the Falcons said...

Decided I would sleep on it before putting my thoughts into words. Got to admit I left shortly after tea to attend a previously booked appointment and fully expected to return this morning to watch the end. It was just simply not good enough if the batsmen scored only half of their highest scores this season we would have been in a good position. Friday is not looking good as Luke Fletcher returns buoyed by the wickets he collected in this game.
As for the next championship game looks like we will have Alex Hughes back which is very good as he has been missed but not sure what other alternatives we have with Shiv Thakor and Scott Elstone only getting runs recently when in the seconds.
I feel that we have the makings of a good young team but they urgently need the support of the more experienced players or they will wither away needing to look for a new career.

Mark said...

What does Chris Grant mean exactly when he says " things will change"?. How exactly are things going to change then, by working harder in the nets?, by getting new coaches in? etc. I wish he'd been a bit more clearer in his assessment last night.

Agreed also about Welch ducking all the criticism whenever things go wrong. He has a lot to answer for in this current demise, but stubborness seems to run right through him. Coaches and players should be sharing this flak between them.

Roy of the Falcons said...

If by the sacred cow members system defuncted knacker means the membership system and the structure of clubs then I think the answer is yes. Like all things in Derbyshire cricket what is the alternative club ownership by a sports management company who only see a balance sheet or the opportunity for a commercial sale.

Mutn said...

I enjoyed a lovely day's cricket yesterday , a nice spot of lunch from a very accommodating club, and Derbyshire players putting the opposition to the sword .

Pity I was watching the Seconds at Belper, and not the Firsts at Derby !

I had intended to go to Derby today to watch a close contest play out on Day 4 , but...

Marc said...

Some very apt points from notoveryet,many of which I would have to echo. Once those in charge try to absolve themselves of their own responsibilities there is often only one outcome. In the short term,Welch will more than likely continue to enjoy the support of the chairman. Unless he leaves voluntarily, the cost of paying him off and hiring a replacement may prove too expensive.

I,m not against Welch being critical of the team or even those within it,should he feel it necessary,the problem is one he has largely made for himself by defending a number of substandard performances in the past and then choosing the last one to do the opposite. There was not a great deal to differentiate between Surrey and certain other games earlier in the season,except to reiterate Surrey were markedly below full strength.An excuse which has been used by a number of people to explain away our own failings.

Welch is sitting on top of a volcano which at some point will erupt if things show little or no sign of improving. Previous incumbents have suffered a similar fate and there is no reason why he should be treated any differently. If anyone in recent times had a case for leniency it was Krikken. He was unceremoniously dumped in the face of a brave new world and whilst he might not be quietly laughing at our demise,few would blame him if he had a slight grin on his face.

Apparently,people are being blocked on certain social media outlets for criticism. Whether this is true I have no idea but the club have never hesitated to use these outlets themselves,when it has suited them,and to imply people shouldn,t do similar to express their own feelings is rather two faced. Some folks may go over the top,we all know that, but the over-riding feeling is everyone is tarred with the same brush.

Anonymous said...

I don't get why Iain O'Brien thinks he can solve the problem he's a commentator

We have no money as everyone was given ridiculously long contracts and we can't get rid. Whose idea was that?

Mutn said...

Under the present set of circumstances it's no good all of us compiling our own possibly short retained list, we have to grin and bear it and hope that the players and management circle the wagons effectively and prove that they can play professional county cricket . Pride should have a place in all of their kit bags, so for the rest of the season let's see it being worn !

Gary said...

As mentioned before the batting collapses aren't a surprise. The batsmen are all averaging around their career averages where a lot of them, barring Madsen, have been inconsistent at best and are are led to believe that they will suddenly change their spots? Godleman and Slater have been reasonable but neither have shown they will score big match winning hundreds on a regular basis. Chesney and Wes are always going to be hit and miss by the way they play and the person that often covered this up in the past, the captain is having his first leanish spell in a few seasons. Add to this the revolving door of the overseas player and the batting form is to be expected.
What makes the issue worst is that in previous seasons the lower order have got us out of a lot of holes but even people such as A Hughes, Thakor and the WK's are not averaging much.
Plus who are the senior players Welch is making comment on - in the batting line up you would only say Godleman, Madsen and Durston are as such so seems a surprising comment?