Sunday, 7 June 2015

Kent v Derbyshire day 1

Kent 205 ( Northeast 85, Footitt 5-45, Palladino 3-19)
Derbyshire 67-7

Derbyshire trail by 138 runs

Were the ghost of Oliver Hardy watching at the delightful St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury today, he would have doubtless have opined to his good friend, Stan Laurel, that it was another fine mess that we'd gotten ourselves into.

For the first two sessions of the day, Derbyshire largely controlled it. A third wicket stand by Northeast and Denly helped Kent to recover from Mark Footitt's two wickets in the opening over, while a fifty partnership for the ninth wicket between Haggett and Riley took Kent past two hundred and gave them a total that was more than looked likely at one stage.

Mark Footitt gave a timely reminder of his talents ahead of the Ashes series, while Tony Palladino produced exemplary line and length bowling to concede only one run an over in a spell that proved an admirable foil for the pace man at the other end.

In conditions that offered help to the seamers all day, both Tom Taylor and Wayne White will be disappointed, however,  to concede over five an over and lose a little of the initiative that had been hard-earned in the post-lunch exemplary bowling from the openers.

Yet that loss of initiative was nothing compared to what happened next. While Kent lost their first two for two runs, we lost our first three without scoring. Matt Coles cut a swathe through our batting, which looked like it was intent on registering a binary total, as five of the top seven registered ducks.

It was a poor effort, albeit in conditions that helped seamers. Were it not for 35 from the returning Wes Durston, it would have been feasible for us to have been forced to follow on after a largely ignominious display. There is a crisis of confidence in our batting at present and it is surprising after the largely impressive displays at the start of the summer. We have little option but to go with the current personnel, given the injury situation and hope that a return to form is imminent.

What I won't do, under any circumstances, is to agree with a couple of knee-jerk comments regarding the coach being under fire tonight, or 'feeling the heat'. I posted them, because I believe that the blog should represent the feelings of other supporters, as well as me, but I totally disagree with that sentiment. He will, with those who work with him, be frustrated, but no coach can go out and bat for a player. You can give them all the preparation in the world, but out in the middle it is up to them.

What Graeme Welch needs is a run of good luck. Things happened off the field last year that impacted on performances until late summer. This season, the coach has endured an injury list of astonishing proportions and has seldom been able to field a first-choice side. That some of those injuries may have been the result of winter workload is something I am sure they will look at in due course, but there have been muscle pulls, breaks and fractures that have seen an inexperienced squad taken to breaking point.

These are not, as one poster calls it, excuses. They are a rational statement of fact for an unfortunate set of circumstances that we could ill-afford. I said at the start of the summer that we could challenge IF we had our share of luck. Few would suggest that we have had our fair share of good fortune in the early months of the season.

If we had a full squad, there are players right now who would be pulled from the firing line to regain form and confidence in the seconds. As it is, because of the absence of viable alternatives, they are having to try and do that in a struggling side. It isn't easy.

It is painful to witness, but they WILL come through this. As I have said before, we cannot fast track this evolution process, unless we bring in worthwhile Kolpaks. That's an oxymoron, unless their names are Steyn and de Villiers...

You find out who your friends are in adversity.

I think the same goes for supporters, too.


Anonymous said...

Absolute rubbish to suggest replacing Graham Welch. As I've said before on here this is not the time to be looking for scapegoats but it is the time to stand together and battle on. We have players capable of turning this round - in this match and beyond. Tom has done well today to provide a little stability and I really hope he can continue tomorrow , supported by TP, who always gives his best and has got runs before.

Mark said...

Fair enough Peakfan, but besides Madsen who else are we missing?. Who's ridiculous decision was it to go for Elstone in place of Thakor ( unless the injury jinx has struck again )?. We've some absolute bang average players in this squad, with the likes of Godleman, C.Hughes, Elstone, failing time and time again. Godleman has shown a few encouraging signs so far, but is still far too inconsistent.

It all started to go downhill for me when Guptill went, as we've nobody anywhere near his class even Alma and now Dilshan don't compare at this moment in time. On a plus note praise must go to our two star seamers in Footitt and Palladino, both quality players and it's just a pity players at the other end of the eleven can't replicate their form.

Peakfan said...

One question old are Footitt and Palladino? Madsen for that matter? In the answer lies that to our current problem....

Anonymous said...


Who ever suggested replacing GW, the comment I saw was he would be under fire soon. (from Mark) after the game against Durham and today`s batting performance, rightly so the commander and chief/ and batting coach, will be feeling the heat.

Only maddo injured now, so that excuse has to go out of the window now.


Peakfan said...

People need to be patient. Coach under fire and feeling heat? Seriously? I could understand with a better team if such things happen but we need to take good performance as a bonus right now and ride the storm. It will come right and people need to hang in there

Roger said...

Regardless of a seamer friendly pitch, when a batsman goes in and scores 2 runs from 27 balls, there is an inevitability that he will be out at some point.

Anyway, blame lies with the majority. We simply are not good enough. Wh may have a small budget (smallest) but pinning your hopes on a world class batsmen as I've said before is no good unless that one batsmen is here for the season.

I'm glad Footitt is under contract, although what power do contracts hold if a player wants to leave but if you are this guy, you have to question why he would stick around here.

Debyshire is depressing to see and read about. 20/20 already out the window due to inept performances, 4-day game going that way with the excuse of injuries and bad luck. Time and time again, it is one excuse after another.

I place no blame with Graham Welch but wouldn't it be nice to have a couple of signings who make a real difference to the team in an off-season. (Excluding overseas)

Marc said...

I,m sorry to say Peakfan even the most open minded people are now beginning to raise serious questions about which way the club is heading and whether ambitions can really be achieved. It,s all well and good hiding behind youth and blaming a lack of experience for our decline but some of these players are not quite so young now and have a reasonable amount of game time behind them.

I fully agree they may not be the finished articles but there is a growing argument to say some of the younger players are destined to fall by the wayside. Each and every player goes through a form crisis at some point or other but there is little in the way of statistical evidence to support claims some of these players are making any headway at all. In several cases it could easily be argued they are going backwards.Any team needs a certain amount of experience but it,s high time some of our players learned to stand on their own feet.

We are now coming up to two years since Welch took the helm and the only way progress can be measured in sport is by results and these have shown no sign of improvement this season. Injuries are part and parcel and we have suffered our fair share but it has highlighted something which many people suspected all along. Some of our players are not up to the task.I take no pleasure in saying it but it,s the truth and hiding behind side issues is not going to change a thing.

I think Welch has now got his work cut out,first of all to instill some confidence and belief in the players and to convince a growing number of doubters he is on the right track. I,m certainly not advocating we sack him and start anew but the clock is ticking and supporters are not going to accept excuses for ever. This season he may get away with it but the pressure will continue to increase if progress is not seen to be made.

Anonymous said...

Taylor, Cotton, Critchley- young players, who have performed creditably and need to be constantly encouraged. Sadly its the constant batting collapses that have to be addressed and I'm dubious as to whether we have the personnel to rectify that at the present time. Slater, C.Hughes, Godleman, Elstone, Durston, Thakor - all highly inconsistent and need to work harder to stay at the crease for long periods. The efforts made by DCCC have been mirrored by all the other Counties and therefore we are back to where we started. To me, ability-wise we are below Div 2 average and mentally we are still not able to tune-in correctly to the type of cricket required in the different forms of the game. Individually, each player needs to take more responsibility and evaluate his worth to the team and not at any cost throw his wicket away.

Mark said...

Recruitment is always a major problem at a county like ours, and attracting top quality is a nigh on impossibility. We just have to accept that until we're an established Div 1 side, we'll never attract the quality of player we strive for.

It's our overseas players that we always rely on to bail us out the brown stuff, and Guptill aside the other two have so far been very so so.

Paul said...

I think we need to be honest about what is currently happening here.
The injuries are easing and the average age of the current team is 28 - this compares to the opposition's average age of 26. The current team being fielded by the county champions Yorkshire also has an average age of 26.

So, this side is not savaged by injury, it is not young.

What it is out of form and out of confidence.
When was the last time you saw a side bowled out before an extra was on the board !.

The coaching staff's job is to improve form and improve confidence.

We all know, accept and even embrace having one of the lowest budgets in the country, however, With our plethora of coaches, Derbyshire can hardly have anywhere near the lowest coach/player budget ratio in the country.

Clearly therefore it is right for questions to be asked as to if the structure is correct.


Mark said...

Well, knock me down with a feather duster. We somehow look like winning this game with a first innings total of Eighty Six. Unbelievable Jeff!

Daniel Smith said...

Although I don't always see eye to eye with Peakfan, he's much more of an optimist than me, here I'm in complete agreement. All I'm expecting from this season are promising signs. I don't expect promotion and I don't expect trophies. Not because I'm pessimistic but last season we did well, however this season will be harder because of that. We are now taken seriously and teams raise their game against us.

We do need to be more consistent and our players do need to improve but I honestly feel that Derbyshire are heading in the right direction.

Mark said...

I just don't get this game which is in progress at Canterbury at the minute. Perhaps you could explain later on Peakfan as to why we're suddenly make batting look quite easy in this second innings, yet looked like we'd never batted before as a team in the first.

Kent have also made a pigs ear of it in both innings. Very strange game indeed.

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Gary said...

The wonder of cricket - we could be the first time to sack a coach after a nine wicket win after yesterdays comments! Good to the experienced pro's put their hands up in White, Palladino, Godleman and even Hughes.

Anonymous said...

Great fightback by the lads. Must give congratulations to Wayne White on his career best figures. Also got to give credit to Goddleman and Hughes on a great partnership.

I've been critical in the last few weeks and I think rightly justified but hopefully this will turn out to be a morale boosting victory and give a springboard for things to come. Well done on today's performance and let's finish it off tomorrow.


Graham said...

Congratulations chaps ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^. Presumably 'Pop' has showed the comments above to the boys as a means of motivating 'em!!!!