Birmingham 242-2 (McCullum 158 not)
Derbyshire 182 (Durston 43, Rutherford 39)
Birmingham won by 60 runs
Years ago, when I was just a nipper, my old Dad used to take me to the Baseball Ground. He always taught me to appreciate sport as featuring two teams and to appreciate when the other team, or someone in it, did something special.
I remember an especially fine goal by Peter Knowles of Wolverhampton Wanderers, the result of a sweeping move and a clinical finish, which my Dad applauded warmly, while others nearby were disputing his parentage and shouting at Derby for no other reason than being powerless to stop brilliance.
A man in front of us in the old Osmaston Stand took exception to Dad's applause and told him he shouldn't be doing it. Big mistake. He got 'the look' and a very slow but to the point comment that suggested the bloke should get on with watching one team while he watched both. Might not have been that polite, come to think of it, but it was mighty effective...
It was such tonight at Birmingham. No complaints from me, when you are beaten by a giant of the modern game in Brendan McCullum. He's done that times many to international attacks around the globe and to the very best bowlers. When he gets the bit between his teeth, is in form and finds a wicket to his taste, there's no bowling to him. How do you set a field to someone who hits it over the boundary with such regularity? How do you reply to 158 runs from just 64 balls faced?
Truth be told, despite the bowlers, without exception, taking some stick, we battled well. Hamish Rutherford and Wes Durston batted with equal panache, but didn't last so long. We were only ten runs behind at the end of the Powerplay, but the admirable Jeetan Patel bowled his four overs for just eighteen runs, astonishing in the circumstances. I have seen Derbyshire sides in recent years would have collapsed like a pack of cards, but we battled down the order and ran up a total that, on another day, might have won the game.
Like I say though, one has to accept brilliance in sport, whatever the hue of the shirt. If you can't, you really shouldn't follow competitive sport.
Well played Brendan McCullum. A captain and man for who I have the utmost respect, for leading as popular a touring side as has toured this island in many a year.
As well as being a fantastic cricketer who pretty much beat us on his own tonight.