Derbyshire 253 and 73-1 (Godleman 42 not)
Kent 159 (Footitt 4-61)
Derbyshire lead by 167 runs
As truncated days go, this was a very good one for Derbyshire.
I missed the morning session but taking five wickets for under 70 runs was impressive work. In the afternoon, some of the out cricket got a little sloppy, but the catches were held with sufficient regularity for the Kent innings to fold well short of our total.
While Mark Footitt again bowled well and led the wickets tally, I was taken with Ben Cotton's bowling today. I think he has the ability to be a really nasty quick bowler, but is too nice a lad to rough up the opposition batsmen as someone of his size could do. By the time he is the finished article, I think he will add a couple of yards to his already handy pace and I enjoyed the way that he was happy to use and threaten with the 'throat ball' today, perhaps a sign of things to come.
He's a big lad and could be a formidable bowler for us in the coming years. So too will Tony Palladino, who bowled within himself, yet with metronomic accuracy. The attack had a good look to it and it was a good effort, all topped off with a brilliant stop and throw from Scott Elstone in the deep to get the final wicket.
When we batted, I didn't think Ben Slater looked as sound in technique as when I have seen him previously, perhaps a little more hesitant in his footwork that goes with a player not quite in the best of form. He stuck around though and gave us the solid start that we needed, in conjunction with Billy Godleman.
The latter looks the real deal now, an opening batsman with an air of permanence about him. Sure in defence and crisp on the attack, Billy has an on drive that is all his own and that I would say was his trademark shot. The coaches have done a good job with him, but his own work ethic is important, as is the fact that, at 26, he now knows his game. After bursting onto the scene, Billy had several years of under-achievement, exactly as others in their early twenties have found.
Another 166 runs would take him to his first thousand, while nine more will make it his most prolific season, overtaking his first in 2007.
He has been a standout this summer and his efforts have set us up for a win that could be ours, if the weather doesn't intervene.