Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Northamptonshire v Derbyshire T20

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.

That squad:

Tillakaratne Dilshan
Wes Durston (capt)
Chesney Hughes
Wayne Madsen
Scott Elstone
Billy Godleman
Shiv Thakor
Tom Poynton
Tom Knight
Wayne White
Greg Cork
Tony Palladino
Nathan Rimmington

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.

Their squad:

Alex Wakely
Rory Kleinveldt
Steven Crook
Josh Cobb
Richard Levi
 Ben Duckett
Muhammad Azharullah
David Willey
Rob Keogh
Olly Stone
Graeme White
Shahid Afridi

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.


Ironside said...

I enjoyed your comments when Northants played at Derby. I thought they were very balanced.
Looking at both sides, the strength with each lies in the batting and there isn't much to choose, certainly at the top of the order,
So it then comes down to who has the best bowling and fielding. Northant's bowling is not strong and I think too that there is a lack of confidence developing after 3 straight losses - none of them really close. On balance Derby should probably win

Tim, Chesterfield said...

I actually think we will win tonight. We seem to look a little better when on TV.

CJT said...

Two positives to my mind based on tonight...

Scott Elstone moved the ball around well and TP hit well in the last over.

Personally thought Wes should have gone after it more, if you bat through the overs you've got to be looking at 100 surely? Always looked 15/25 light to my mind.

I normally prefer to be more positive but really we've been demolished tonight.


Mark said...

Utter tripe and the game wasn't even close. Not once in the game did we put Northants under any sort of pressure, a total walk in the park for them. We really don't get the format of this competition if you ask me, I always thought it was a slogfest, get as many runs as you can very quickly. So when we bat, we treat it like a Fifty overs match, or a championship game, nobody can hit the bloody thing.

Wes tried, and it's a good job he stayed around or we'd have been well and truly embarrassed. 166 was never going to be anywhere near enough, and the bowling was as bad as the batting, absolute dross. I said we wouldn't win another t20 game after the Durham fiasco, and nothing I've seen tonight will make me change my mind.

Peakfan said...

Think you are unfair there Mark. Elstone batted very well and Poynton gave us important runs. You also fail to a knowledge a terrific knock by David Willey which took the game away.
Opposition players are allowed to do well mate. They had the game changer while Dilshan had a nightmare game.
More from me tomorrow..laptop problem tonight..sorry folks!

Paul said...

Very poor yet again. GW keeps telling us we have plans in the T20. Can't see it myself as it was blindingly obvious that Willey needed to be cramped for room but all the bowlers gave him room to swing with inevitable results.
Why did Durston give Dilshan TWO overs first up ? One over for sighters and then 24 off the next? Again could have been avoided.
AP bowled ok but when you need wickets 5 slower balls an over ain't going to get them.
Cheney bowled 3 overs of dross after not bowling a ball in the first 4 games.
Wes didn't bowl at all !
Are these things planned or is it all done on the hoof?
We look like a team without proper plans and if we do have plans we are incapable of executing them.