First up tonight, thanks to all of you who have helped to make the past week the biggest since I started the blog. It has been running at around 1500 unique visits per day, which is pretty special and I am grateful to all of you for your continued support.
Of course, it helps when Derbyshire rise like Lazarus from a near-hopeless position after the first four sessions of the game at Canterbury. I've had several emails from fellow supporters who still can't believe we pulled that one off. With Lancashire winning again today, they are pulling clear of the pack, but we are very much in the mix for second place.
Tomorrow our team head down to Northampton for a T20 game that is on TV, offering the wider British public a chance to see our conquering heroes (memo to God...please...)
The squad is strengthened by the return of Wayne Madsen, who would, I'm sure, have steered us to a win last week against Durham. He takes his place in a squad of greater experience and one that is eminently capable of sealing a second win of the season. If the bowling, considerably improved on last year, continues to show its current discipline, we could add a few more before the end of the campaign.
Wes Durston (capt)
I'd be inclined to include Tom Knight, fresh from his 89 for the second team in their win over Warwickshire yesterday. I'd bat him at five when, if he gets in, he could cause serious damage with his clean hitting. I'd see Greg Cork as the other to miss out, but the coach knows who is fit and confident and it is just my gut feeling. I am sorry to see Ben Cotton out with a side strain, as he has looked very impressive so far.
Graeme Welch has admitted to some 'well chosen' words after the loss against Durham, which must now be consigned to memory's dustbin. It happened, it was awful, let's move on.
Our hosts are a dangerous side, their top three of Levi, Willey and Cobb as dangerous as any in the country in this format. With the mercurial Shahid Afridi in their ranks, the game will not be dull and it is a surprise that they are yet to win a game in this competition.
It will be a tough game, but I have come to a very simple conclusion about this Derbyshire team. If we go out on the field focused and fully committed, we can give anyone a game. It is when that intensity slips we struggle. Strong sides, perhaps with better individuals, can still win in such circumstances, but we need to be a maximum power, or we struggle.
Let's hope we are at our best tomorrow.
Talented as the opposition are, this is winnable.