Saturday, 11 July 2015

Derbyshire v Yorkshire T20

Great news for Derbyshire today, as the T20 game against Yorkshire became a sell-out.

The match between the two counties at this loveliest of venues was always likely to be so, but it is nonetheless good news for the county. This match, together with the home T20 against Nottinghamshire, are the two big 'earners' for the club and the even better news is that the game looks set to be blessed with good weather.

It may well be the limit of the good news, because this Yorkshire side is the best in the country by a mile. Even with their best players on England duty, those getting the call to the colours just keep winning games. If the bowlers have a bad day, the batsmen get the required runs; if the batsmen fail, the attack just pulls out all the stops to secure the win.

For the fan who likes to see good cricket, rather than being fixated on a win, the game offers much. Australia may have been hammered in the Test match, but Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell, as well as the in-form Jonny Bairstow, should find the small ground and fast outfield to their liking. Any error in line and length is likely to go a long way against such players, so expectation of a win, on my part, are tempered by realism.

While their main seam bowlers, Jack Brookes and Ryan Sidebottom, are largely rested from  this competition, the visitors welcome back Liam Plunkett and will field a powerful side that will probably feature Adil Rashid. Rich Pyrah has been missing from their side of late, but may well return against us, given he normally channels the spirit of George Hirst and Wilfred Rhodes whenever he does so.

Graeme Welch has rightly named an unchanged squad for this one. Ben Cotton's side strain has been a shame for a talented bowler, because he was doing well in this competition, but there have been encouraging performances from some of our players.

I'll not pretend we have got everything right, because no team does that, not even Yorkshire. Yet the T20 has seen an improvement this year. We've won two more matches than last year and, with a little more savvy and composure would probably have won three more. By definition that is an improvement and similar progress next year would be welcome.

It is also necessary. Regular readers will know that T20 is a long way from my preferred format, but I cannot deny that it is a huge potential earner for us and we have never yet got close to tapping into its financial potential. I have no doubt that those behind the scenes are already looking at next year and what we can do to become more competitive.

A trip to God's own county awaits tomorrow, sadly with no cricket to see during my stay, but plenty of cricket chat and opportunity to see friends old and new. When I get there I expect to write up a Yorkshire win, but we are some way behind them in the overall quality and depth of playing staff, as is every other club in the country.

A battling display such as that at Trent Bridge will do me. I agree to some extent with a contributor earlier that a loss is a loss, but it is much easier to accept when the team has given its all and made a much stronger one battle to the end.

We did that to Nottinghamshire on Friday night, when the biggest crowd in their T20 history almost saw their megabucks side humbled.

If we can come close to doing the same tomorrow, I can take that.

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