Sunday, 9 August 2015
Leicestershire v Derbyshire day 3
Leicestershire 314 and 56 for 4
Leicestershire need 217 to win
Much as was the case in the first innings, Derbyshire's second was largely down to a superb century from a top four batsman, exactly what you want in such situations.
For Wayne Madsen, this time read Billy Godleman (pictured), whose century was his first in the championship this season but took him to top of the run scoring charts for the club, just ahead of Wayne Madsen. He has reinvented himself and become a very solid and dependable batsman, exactly the sort of player that we need. He deserves every plaudit for turning around a career that appeared to be on the wane and making himself a shoo-in pick for an opening berth for the four-day side.
So too do his coaches. Supporters can be quick to criticise, but he has let no one down this year. I still maintain that a middle order role in T20 doesn't suit him at all, but happily accept that it was a role he was asked to play in the absence of viable alternatives earlier in the season.
Sadly, Tillakaratne Dilshan is so out of form right now it is painful. The international star of that name seems some way away at present and instead his replacement appears to be looking desperately for the next run. He took a wicket today, but he has been brought over to score runs - big runs - and hasn't delivered. I hope that we can see some vintage Dilshan before he returns home, but it will need a sizeable reversal of form.
On a pitch now showing signs of variable bounce, which resulted in four last innings lbw decisions, the home side should not get close tomorrow. O'Brien is perhaps the last hope and even a Derbyshire attack missing Wes Durston, with an apparent intercostal strain, should have enough to seal the win. A concern will be getting our one-day skipper fit for the RLODC game against Durham, so I am sure James Pipe will be even busier in the days ahead.
The discipline in the final innings has been impressive, only two wides in 21 overs. Just what you need when you haven't a huge amount of runs to play with, but to the home side tonight they must feel like they are in the foothills of Mount Everest.
Light rain is forecast for Monday, but hopefully we will have enough time to wrap up a win that, over the piece, will be well-deserved.