Derbyshire 274-5 in 48 overs (Rutherford 110, Madsen 106 not)
Gloucestershire 205-4 in 35 overs
Gloucestershire won on D/L
It is hard to know what to say tonight.
We beat Somerset handsomely, lost to Yorkshire narrowly by Duckworth/Lewis and were then given tonight's game by the same calculation. Rain interruptions left Gloucestershire needing 68 from the last four overs, something I saw as I was on my last break at work. Easy-peasy from there, thought I, well aware of how well we had bowled at the end of games this year.
What I didn't know was who had to bowl those overs. No criticism of Matt Critchley, but Wes Durston, who has taken on the captaincy, will have expected to use Ben Cotton and Shiv Thakor at the death, not, because of D/L, have to use those who had not already bowled seven overs.
You have to give credit to the home side, because they got there. Jack Taylor played a highly impressive cameo of 41 from 14 balls, but one has to say that a team should be capable of defending seventeen an over. The batsmen chanced their arm and got away with it, but we should still have been capable of holding off their charge.
Indeed we would have done so, but for something that incurs my greatest criticism. We were unprofessional at the last.
The captain will bear the brunt of the flak, because them's the breaks when you take on the role. You make a good bowling change or set a clever field, you are the bees knees. You do something wrong, you're considerably less than that. To be fair, having too many men on the leg side is a pretty basic error, but I don't hold Wes solely responsible. There were eleven players on that pitch and surely one of them should have spotted it and said something?
It all rather ruined a fine batting effort, when Hamish 'Signhimup' Rutherford and Wayne Madsen scored sublime centuries and took us to a position of strength. We could and should have won from there, but for rain and, when it mattered, people simply not thinking about what was happening.
They will be disappointed tonight, but from such adversity things are learned. We have developed a nasty habit of losing close finishes and it is frustrating to be so close and yet so far. Having said that, we are playing decent cricket and if we cut out the errors, can still qualify from this group.
On Monday night I was happy to admit that we ran a good side close and were a little unlucky in the grand scheme of things.
Tonight, not to put too fine a point on it, we threw it away.
At the end, I found the only thing I can say.