Sunday, 9 August 2015

Leicestershire v Derbyshire day 3

Derbyshire 345 and 241 (Godleman 101)

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.


notoveryet said...

To be honest, having been at Leicester since just after lunch on the first day, I'm not sure "well deserved" is the best description, as it's been a mongrel of a game with scratchy performances all round. Weather permitting, we should win this now after Leics late collapse, but it's been much closer fought than you'd want against them. Thanks to an outstanding innings from Madsen, we probably had a hundred runs more than you'd have expected in the first innings, but gave that back with some very ordinary bowling on the second day. Cotton had a really poor day, and Thakor and Hughes looked very innocuous. It really showed up the weakness of the argument (on cricketing grounds at least) for the release of Wayne White, as we still have the weaknesses and uncertainties of very inexperienced bowling that underlay the decision to recruit him last year. The announcement of his contract with Leics was an open secret around the ground yesterday, and an attack of Mckay, White and Shreck is going to be a handful if White can replicate what he did for us this year and Shreck can carry on defying the years.

Just as our bowling was poor apart from Footitt and Palladino, the batting has been very fragile, with the obvious exceptions of Madsen and Godleman. Only Thakor looked comfortable, although both Hughes and Hosein fought hard in the first innings without ever looking comfortable. I really question whether we should persist with Dilshan, despite the fortune he is undoubtedly costing us, as he is not only badly out of form, but doesn't look as if he's up for grafting as our other out of form batsmen are doing. I'd be inclined to give Thakor a go at 4 to see if the extra responsibility helps him to focus when he gets into the 40's.

My guess is that we might get around 50/60 overs today, which should be enough to take 6 wickets, or for Leics to score the runs. Some hard questions to answer if it's the latter, though.

Marc said...

Excellent innings from Godleman. We would have been in trouble without it,looking at the rest of the scorecard. If Leicestershire win from this point it would represent a major setback but I can see it happening. I too hope Dilshan can come up with some scores to remember him by. To be fair,it,s his first game back on a less than ideal wicket but he needs to do something fairly soon. Durston,s injury is a little worrying. He is almost irreplaceable in one day cricket and would be a big loss if he isn,t fit.

Mark said...

Poor defeat again, only taking three wickets today is not good enough. Very disappointing season on the whole and I think we all expected so much better.