Sunday, 23 August 2015

Derbyshire v Kent day 3

Derbyshire 253 and 234-3 (Godleman 105 not)

Kent 159 and 30-0

Kent require 299 to win

I suspect that the weather will have the last laugh tomorrow in a game that, in a fair four days, we would have won easily.

Tonight is one to salute Billy Godleman, for his second century of the match, third in succession and fourth in five innings of all cricket. He couldn't be in a more purple patch if he sat eating those funny shaped Quality Street with the caramel and nut centre, while listening to Deep Purple and Prince on his ipod...

Billy follows some illustrious names in the three in a row sequence, with Kim Barnett the last, 25 years ago, preceded by Peter Kirsten, William Storer and Levi Wright. He is up there with them now and looks such a good player right now. If he gets another in his next knock, I might need to rename this Billy's Blog and leave his picture up in perpetuity...

He was given good support by Chesney Hughes, who reached a solid fifty before being bowled, which brought in the skipper to play a selfless innings, full of improvisation. When he was dismissed, Alex Hughes became the latest to retire hurt in the game, before the declaration came with one eye on the gathering clouds and the other on tomorrow's forecast.

Kent got through largely untroubled, but unless we produce a magical morning, rain threatened after 3pm may well render a lot of very good cricket in this game to naught.

In closing tonight, thanks to all who came along to make the signing session at the ground so pleasant today. Your chat and kind words meant a lot and I hope more of you manage along to Chesterfield on Tuesday.

Be assured that Edwin Smith is a very entertaining man and it will be a special evening.

Postscript - it was duly confirmed today that Dilshan has played his last game for the county. It proved to be a largely unsatisfactory experience, although the memory of him opening the batting with Hashim Amla in the televised Lancashire T20 will live long.

It was also announced at the members forum that we will soon announce the signing of a young all-rounder and are seeking the services of a Kolpak or dual-nationality player.

That should start the rumour mill going nicely - any thoughts?


Tim, Chesterfield said...

Is the 'young all rounder' a name we will know?

Well done to Billy Godleman too, one of few this season who has genuinely progressed.

daisypod said...

You said it all mr PF!

Marc said...

Godleman could bat with his eyes shut at the moment. Full marks for another fine knock which has left us with a reasonable chance if the rain holds off. It looks like we may get a dry morning session but not so good beyond that.

Dilshan,s departure is best for everyone. He has failed to live up to his reputation and there was little sense in taking things to their bitter conclusion. I would be very wary about signing veteran players in future. Chanderpaul was no better than average and offered little in limited overs. I,m sure Rutherford will prove a much more astute signing.

notoveryet said...

Hopefully I won’t attract more personal abuse from “Brian” with these comments, but I‘m going to commend a good performance by Derbyshire in this match. Apart from the mad hour after tea on the first day, this has been one of the most consistently professional performances that I’ve seen this season. Kent isn’t the strongest or most motivated side we’ve seen, but there’s been a ruthlessness and focus over the three days so far that has been missing so often this year.

Without the weather interruptions, I agree that Kent would be facing an insurmountable target and might already have rolled over. I think that there is a real possibility of a result, as the forecast now suggests that we could get up to 50 overs in, and it should be a Derbyshire win if Kent bat with the same application as in the first innings (not to mention courage – at least three Kent batsmen showed a distinct attraction to the leg stump against Footitt). However, if we get more overs in, 328 becomes a distinctly generous target and without Thakor or Hughes, our bowling resources will be severely stretched. I think Madsen was right to take the positive option but the weather might still make a folly of the target. The other factor in this is that Kent is a very dangerous one day batting team, and they wouldn’t be intimidated by a target of 299 in 50 overs in a one day match against us. If they approach it with this mindset, they could snatch this one.

Of course, the outstanding feature of this match has been Billy Godleman. I wasn’t able to see the first hour of Sunday morning but as long as he’s been batting in this match (and indeed against Leicestershire) there’s been an air of calmness and serenity about the batting that I’ve rarely seen since Chris Rogers’ time. I’ve always had a high regard for Godleman, and felt that he wasn’t always given the security of a sense of belonging that he needed. The persistence and perseverance has paid off, and this has a particular resonance for another batsman who is currently at a critical point in his career, who many people seem to ready to call it a day with. I’ve been a long-standing advocate of Chesney Hughes, and over the years, I’ve been fairly vocal with my frustration at the ease with which he’s been left out of the team by successive coaches. He has some obvious technical flaws, but he has an unequalled capacity among Derbyshire players to put bowlers to the sword in big innings, and if he had been given the same security of a place in the team as others have been, might have shown this more often. I suspect a position on a new contract (or not) for him has already been decided, but he showed at times in the second innings here why he should be valued. Like Godleman, at some stage he is going to start to deliver consistently, and it would be a tragedy for us if it was anywhere other than Derbyshire.

I didn’t see your blog on the second day’s play at the time, so a couple of comments on points you made. Slater isn’t as secure as when you’ve seen him before, but I think it’s because he’s looking for new ways of avoiding getting bogged down as he has so often his year. I don’t like the way he’s trying to run the ball over and past the slips as his get-out, and often losing his wicket doing it, but at least he’s trying to address it. On Cotton, his spells before and after lunch were probably the best he’s bowled in the past couple of matches – he was poor against Leicestershire and not great here in his first couple of spells. My impression is that he’s trying to bowl too fast and too many wicket-taking balls, rather than aim for back of a length where his natural bounce will cause problems if he gets the line right. I’m not keen on the new tactic of him opening with Footitt which I think might be encouraging him to try to compete for pace, but also undermines the potency of the Footitt / Palladino combination. As we saw on Saturday, both Footitt and Cotton benefit from bowling in tandem with Palladino and I hope we see this from the start this morning.

Peakfan said...

Good post Notoveryet. I agree on Godleman, who looks to be the opening batsman we have sought for some time. As for Cotton, I watched him from all angles today and think he has a lot more to give. When his body is properly filled out (hard to say about such a giant) I think he will add another 10% to his pace at least and become a focal point of an exciting young attack.

Today was tough work for all the seamers but they stuck to it well.