Friday, 12 June 2015

Northamptonshire v Derbyshire T20

Derbyshire 166-7 (Durston 77 Elstone 37)
Northants 167-4 (Willey 60)

Northants won by six wickets

I don't think Derbyshire played especially badly in front of the TV cameras last night. It was a decent display with the bat that represented a good recovery from a poor start, but we were blown away by a stunning innings by David Willey, the sort that a player of his quality is likely to play.

Tillakaratne Dilshan, now heading for the Caribbean, had a bit of a nightmare with bat and ball, being clubbed for 24 in one over by Willey, this after going in the first over as he attempted to sweep/scoop the same bowler. The shot is like the reverse sweep - when it comes off, it looks magnificent, when it doesn't, it is some way removed from what Wilfred Rhodes used to call a 'business shot'. To be fair, the ball swung, which was enough to make it look rather awful on this occasion.

The player will have worked out the percentages and must score more than he concedes from it, but, somewhat like Hashim Amla, the jury is still out on the Sri Lankan star at this stage. You cannot doubt the talent, nor the effort in bringing them to Derbyshire, but the returns, at least on the field, have been only adequate so far.

Wes Durston batted well, without ever breaking free of the shackles, though he could hardly go crazy when wickets fell regularly at the other end. Scott Elstone played a delightful cameo and looked good, while Shiv Thakor and Tom Poynton played well at the end of the innings.

The total was OK, though with a dangerous top three in the opposition, there was always a likelihood of defeat if any of  them got going.Willey took us apart and despite decent spells by Wayne White and Tony Palladino we were never coming back from the carnage of the Powerplay. Willey simply took us apart, though the failure of the bowlers in that period to hit lines and lengths was disappointing. Given the freedom to swing by sufficient width, he carved the ball to the middle distance  and with it went any hopes of another disciplined bowling effort. On a night where the batsmen at least posted a competitive total, too many bowlers were off their game.

You have to accept it can happen. As I pointed out below the last piece, when computer issues prevented me doing this last night, at times you need to accept the opposition can and will play better than us. If they do, we look bad. This was much better than the dreadful Durham game, when we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, but obviously not close to good enough on the night.

Lancashire at Old Trafford tonight. Into the lion's den, if you will - how many of the side will stand up to the pressure is anyone's guess, but we need to up our game and hope that one of the opposition doesn't play the blinder  - with bat, ball and in the field - that David Willey did last night.


Mark said...

I thought our bowling was terrible last night Peakfan, and Dilshan and Hughes had absolute shockers. Who told Chesney he can bowl, because his action alone just says smash me out of the ground please. Expecting Lancy to exact revenge tonight from our last meeting.

Marc said...

I can,t say I was very impressed with either the batting or bowling. We lost there last season with a much larger total than last night and by 20/20 margins,this was a comprehensive defeat. Willey was the main difference but who ever we come up against,similar things usually happen. Durston was caught between a rock and a hard place. Had he perished early on we would have struggled to reach three figures. He received minimal support from his team mates,most of whom can offer little more than two or three lusty blows before getting out.

If we manage to register another win it will come as a result of the opposition playing badly rather than ourselves playing well. I,m also struggling to understand the make up of our team. Knight is discarded after one appearance and although he batted reasonably well yesterday,Elstone is picked match after match,with scant regard for his form. Godleman has been excellent in the longer form but this idea he is a 20/20 player is nonsense. Why don,t we give Slater a chance?. I fail to see where we have anything to lose by doing so. I don,t think Lancashire will make the same mistakes tonight as they did at Derby.Another defeat is looming large.

Peakfan said...

Hard to argue in tonights result gents

Sam said...

I'm not usually that critical but I thought we had a bit of a shocker to be honest. This was worse than the Durham game because at least we competed in that and played well for 35 overs, last night we perhaps managed 10?

We struggled in the power play losing 3 wickets, so to get to 166 was a decent effort. Credit to Durston who kept his head, and the much maligned Elstone who chipped in with useful runs. It must be said though that if an occasional 30 is the best he can do, it'll be a struggle for him to earn a new contract. Im glad welch is sticking with him for the time being however.

Had we have bowled like we did in the last 2 matches we'd probably have won, so it was disappointing that we were so poor. Durston's captaincy was poor, I saw little in Dilshan's first over to warrant a second, which then cost us a spell of spin in the middle. Cheney Hughes has looked poor with the ball all season, I daren't think what Tom Knight's bowling is like at the moment if they think Chesney is better. Rimmington took far too long to work out that bowling short in this country isn't going to work, and despite his decent looking figures Palladino dished up too many full tosses. And all the while Durston didn't bowl himself?! We also missed Cotton I thought, although I don't think he'd have saved us from defeat single handedly.

A mention too to Tom Poynton who kept superbly and forced me to turn down the volume on my TV set with his constant chat from behind the stumps. Overall I think we'll probably win a couple more matches, and if we can get a complete performance with bat and ball together we'll be a match for most teams, but if we don't we'll lose almost certainly unfortunately.

Also what are your thoughts peakfan on the fixture list at present? Canterbury, northants, old Trafford and then back down south to Chelmsford all inside a week? Why couldn't they have scheduled the 4 day matches against the northern counties during the t20 period as opposed to us playing against Leicestershire twice after the competition is over for example?

notoveryet said...

Most bowlers will know the feeling of having a batsman hit them so hard and often that they lose their discipline and confidence, and this is how we should be thinking about last night. Yes, of course you'd hope that bowlers will hold on to their skills in these situations, but take nothing away from Willey's batting by condemning our bowlers. I thought that Willey apart, last night was one of our better all round performances, with the middle order contributing better than it has done in any match so far and the fielding solid. Without Willey, 166 could have been enough against a Northants side that didn't look brimming with confidence themselves, and even with him, another 20 might have been enough.

I agree, though, that the spin bowling situation is chaotic. The decision about who bowls seems almost random - not just in T20 but in 4 day matches as well. It may be that injuries explains why Durston didn't bowl last night, or why Hughes wasn't bowling before the match against Kent but now bowls in preference to Elstone. With the departure of Dilshan (who generally has bowled quite effectively in T20), the question becomes more acute.

Peakfan said...

Absolutely right notoveryet! I remember seeing AB de Villiers slaughter Dale Steyn in the IPL and can't think of a bowler who hasn't been hit. When a batsman is in nick and in the mood, as Willey was last night, bowling isn't a lot of fun, especially with modern bats. Willey's own last over wasn't bad, but Poynton used the depth of his crease and got under two decent attempted yorkers to hit sixes.
It is a tough gig...