Friday, 3 July 2015

Birmingham v Derbyshire T20

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.


IanC said...

No complaints from me when you lose to an innings of individual brilliance like that.

With hindsight,i suppose we might have been brave enough to go for first knock on a pitch which seems to have been setup with batsmen (and Mccullum in particular) in mind.

He was the difference tonight,and no shame in that.

Paul said...

Agree totally with your comments Peakfan re McCullum.
But why oh why did Durston choose to field when our best performances in recent weeks have come defending totals. Trust me scoreboard pressure does strange things to the mind as the much vaunted Notts team proved last Friday. Instead we said go and have a bash Brendan and see what you can set us !
An absolutely crass decision. I despair of Derbyshire at times

knacker said...

Doff your cap, shake his hand and buy him a beer in the bar

Dave said...

I have to agree with Paul, we set 200 last week and should have backed ourselves to repeat it. We obviously have zero confidence in our ability to set a target on perfect wickets away from home.We should cease hiring 'ordinary' overseas bowlers and promote our own young talent.

Mutn said...

Had the luck to be there to watch two New Zealanders in full flow this season. Guptill at Bristol and now McCullum at Birmingham.

Just accept last night for what it was . A fantastic innings by a most popular touring Captain.

Mark said...

It could've been a far weaker player than Mccullum that would put our attack to the sword. Mccullum has probably never faced a more obliging set of bowlers.

Peakfan said...

Maybe we could have batted first, but I won't delude myself into thinking it would have made a difference with McCullum in that form. He wouldn't have got 158, but wouldn't have needed to.
Chopra is a good player, but his scoring rate was pedestrian in comparison.

Mark, your comment is unfair and unnecessary mate. Nothing more, nothing less. Comes over as a cheap shot and I would like to think you are better than that.