Monday, 8 June 2015

Kent v Derbyshire day 2

Kent 205 and 112 (White 6-25)
Derbyshire 86 and 169-1 (Hughes 82 not, Godleman 61 not)

Derbyshire need 63 runs to win

Just when you think you have seen it all in the game of cricket, the greatest of games produces something new to rekindle, for the umpteenth time, the 'Wow' factor.

Around the homes of the shire, vast helpings of humble pie must have been made and eaten tonight, after the vitriol that poured forth only 24 hours earlier. To be fair to many of the culprits, they have been quick to address that today and have returned, not to bury Caesar, but to praise him. And his forces, naturellement...

I was busy at work today and checked in on the score from time to time. When our tail wagged with the alacrity of an arthritic dog, some Palladino clumps excepted, I feared the worst. More so when the home side eased to 63-1, 182 runs ahead. I went into a meeting with heavy heart, returning to find the home side all out for 112, Wayne White having registered a career best 6-25. I actually logged out, then back into Cricinfo, just in case there was a malfunction.

I am thrilled for White. Those who have been long-term readers of the blog will know I advocated a move for his services a year ago, when he was cast adrift in the Lancashire second team. I even entered into a discussion with a Lancashire fan on Cricinfo when we signed him, his ability being questioned. I suggested (OK, it might have been more than that) he could be a key member of our side this summer.

There is much to like in Wayne. He runs in hard, bowls quickly, puts the ball in good areas and can be a handful. He has struggled with injury so far this summer, but fully vindicated my comments on our need for experience with what appears to have been a fast, awkward spell of bowling, well backed in the field. If he can rediscover his batting mojo - because he can handle the old willow - there is a quality all-rounder in there, still bursting to get out.

232 to win. Based on our first innings, it may as well have been 450, but I have maintained faith in the side. I wrote last night that we would come through the recent troughs and we did. We are better than recent displays have suggested with the bat, capable of solidity but frustratingly nosediving to mediocrity too often for comfort. There may be one or two in the squad who are perhaps just short of the desired standard for this level, but for most the greater challenge is consistency. They have proved they can do it, but need to do so more frequently and cash in when the opportunity arises and they have played themselves in.

In the final session, Chesney Hughes and Billy Godleman overcame first the early loss of Ben Slater, then saw off the new ball, proceeded to give us hope and ended the day having all but won it with an unbroken partnership of 163 runs. Chesney looks a different player this year, less anxious at the crease, more willing to wait for the bad ball. An average just south of 40 is his reward, by no means a bad effort with the better tracks of high summer to come.

As for Billy, he has made a good fist of captaincy and currently averages just under 60. He needs only cement his reinvigorated career with a century or two sometime soon to enjoy a self-satisfied smile. Captaincy has affected his game, but only for the better. The erstwhile struggles at Middlesex and Essex are disappearing into the distance and he may be coming to terms with this county cricket lark. At 26, some might say he should, but we all know it is a tough apprenticeship and some don't get that far.

Others, many of them on our staff, have some time to go before they get to that stage.

I hope there isn't one final twist in the tail of a memorable match, but don't expect one. Coles will give it one last whirl tomorrow morning, but the incumbent batsmen have shown there are few terrors in the wicket for those prepared to graft. We should all enjoy a merry lunch tomorrow, the Derbyshire boys an enjoyable trip back home.

What a difference a day makes...well done lads.


Tim, Chesterfield said...

What fabulous character today, and no little skill either in all fairness. This game we love has a strange habit of surprising even us grizzled Derbyshire fans. Let's hope that there is no final twist in the tail of this game tomorrow as this game has surely offered enough excitement and is a good an argument to return to three-day cricket as is possible to create.

I'm pleased for Wayne White - he's not a bowler I expect to see running through sides like today but I'm delighted for him. Derbyshire lads doing well gives me added satisfaction even if they've returned from an enforced absence elsewhere.

On a final note a little harsh to refer to 'the vitriol that poured forth' when there were simply one or two comments from disappointed supporters!

Mark said...

I hold my hands up, and will eat humble pie Peakfan. Fine day's cricket by Derbyshire.

Peakfan said...

Not just referring to this site media and elsewhere...
Mark - fair play to you for doing so!

Tim, Chesterfield said...

Social media comments can mostly be ignored, in almost every scenario. Too many people with I'l-informed opinions & loud mouths. Ignore the upper and lower 20% - the truth is usually somewhere in the middle.

Marc said...

A day to restore some faith and put a smile back on people,s faces. I do like to think I take a balanced view of things and Sunday was a day worthy of some criticism,yesterday worthy of high praise.

People can sometimes be swift to chide and slow to bless,I agree. I don,t seek to put a dampener on yesterday,which was without doubt one of our best of the summer,but I feel we still need additional evidence we have embarked on an upward trend. We have enjoyed a few good days earlier in the season,only to backslide afterwards. If this does turn out to be a catalyst that changes the course of the season then I will be delighted.

White produced the spell of his career which hauled us back into a game which looked all but lost. Footitt has also had a good match along with Palladino,s efforts in the first innings. I found it hard to believe we dismissed them so easily and even then,a win was looking a long way off.

Great credit to Hughes and Godleman who responded to the pressure in the best possible manner. Victory should be formality. Hughes is beginning to look the sort of player he was always capable of becoming and Godleman goes from strength to strength and looks a captain in waiting. It certainly has not affected his batting. Yes,it was a day to restore some lost faith.

Marc said...

Peakfan,I don,t know whether you are aware of Martin Moseling,s death. He made some interesting contributions on here over the years. I was only thinking we hadn,t heard from him.We now know the reason why. R.I.P. Martin.

Peakfan said...

I hadnt heard that Marc. Thanks for letting me know. More later

notoveryet said...

It's not the despair, Peakfan. I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand (apologies to John Cleese). Over years of supporting Derbyshire, this has so often been my state of mind, and today’s another example.

Like all of us, I was fully resigned at lunchtime yesterday to the inevitability of a humiliating defeat by late yesterday or early today, and was ready to take it on the chin. This morning, defeat is almost unimaginable, and requires a collapse of such proportions that it would be as humiliating as the defeat that looked so inevitable yesterday.

Having said that, I can imagine a number of ways it could happen, so just as I wasn’t going to leap to sudden condemnation yesterday, I’m going to delay my celebration until the jobs done.

Apart from the fact that this has been a match which has turned somersaults all the way through just as you begin to think a pattern has been established, we’ve got the fragility of our middle order that I pointed to on Sunday with and the inconsistency that we showed on Friday night still to cope with. Imagine two quick wickets and how confident we’d then be feeling. We have two batsmen starting from scratch, with Hughes a notoriously awkward starter and probably a touch edgier than usual because of the situation and the closeness of a century. The bowlers will be fresh, and will have had the night to reflect on what they didn’t do yesterday. We know how mercurial Coles can be, and if he rolls up in Sunday’s mood rather than yesterday’s we’ll have problems. I also thought that Riley should have been used more to play on Chesney’s vulnerability to spin, and wouldn’t be surprised to see him starting today.

However it happens, I don’t think this is going to be the canter across the line we’re all hoping for.

Just a quick word in all of the messages of doom and gloom yesterday. It was very noticeable that on Sunday (as on Friday night) there was complete silence from the club about what had gone wrong, whereas last night, GW was very quick to talk about a very positive day (and to take credit for the coaches about what had gone well). The silence from the club when things go wrong means that the vacuum gets filled by people who may not really know what they are talking about but care passionately, and this aspect of the club’s communicatiuons needs to be thought about.

Daniel Smith said...

A strange tactic by Derbyshire I think to have folded so easily for 86 all out in the first innings but obviously one that worked since Kent followed suit by collapsing to 112. Even then they must have thought 232 was well out of reach! But then we hit them with the old one two. First, Ben Slater luring them into thinking it really was going to be easy, then Chez and Billy hammering them with sucker punch after sucker punch!

Whilst I'm very pleased (and surprised) with the win I hope we don't use this tactic again, since I'm not getting younger and I'm sure my heart isn't up to the stress.

Anonymous said...

really great to see both Chesney and Billy batting in such a determined way, reluctant to give up their wickets despite having plenty of wickets in hand. I've mentioned getting the mentality right for each type of match or situation within a match and this time they were spot-on. A great result and a fine team display. Lets hope we can build in this and produce the cricket this side is capable of on a more consistent basis.


notoveryet said...

Apparently, this was the first time since 1989 that any county has won a championship match having been 0-3. Notts were 0-3 in their second innings versus Essex, but already had a first innings lead of 98. That's the measure of the amazing turnaround they managed in this match, and without any of the panic we've seen so often. Now to carry that finishing instinct into the ;last 5 overs of the T20.