Leicestershire 329 (Chappell 96, Footitt 7-71)
It was a funny old day at the 3aaa...there, I have started with a rhyme....
The sun shone, then it rained, then it shone again. Our visitors were in big trouble, recovered through a fine innings from debutant Zak Chappell and then we started strongly in our reply, with Billy Godleman reaching a thousand runs in a season for the first time. In between, Mark Footitt recorded a personal best and we displayed some of our old failings in the field with sloppy ground work and a dropped catch or two.
The one put down by Tom Taylor at mid off was tricky, swirling and coming out of the sun. Truth be told, he never looked like taking it, although the groan from a section of the crowd suggested they would have caught it, like Cliff Gladwin used to suggest, between the cheeks of their...you know the rest. They wouldn't and few would have fancied it, but it proved costly, as Chappell showed talent and confidence in a fine knock, far better than one would expect from a number ten.
We bowled poorly in the morning...too short and too much on leg stump. Mark Footitt was soon at his best, though he and Tom Taylor kept Tom Poynton on edge with some wild stuff in between. Tom Milnes impressed with how he came back with a better line and length after a profligate morning, though the bowling, Footitt apart, was somewhat lightweight. Work to be done over the winter, but we knew that. Tom Knight held a rasping catch at short extra off Wes Durston, but the way the visitors tail wagged when the sun came out suggested there were few terrors in the wicket once the overnight moisture had gone.
So Godleman and Slater suggested in their jolly little opening stand, though the morning session, as so often at Derby, will need circumvented before we think of such niceties as first innings lead. With Thursday set to be truncated, it looks set for a last afternoon run chase and I hope our batsmen can acquit themselves well against an attack that looks not especially threatening on paper.
In closing, warm congratulations to Billy and Mark on splendid days and seasons. If they can replicate it next year, we will all be happy.
More from me tomorrow, but I am at Grassmoor with Edwin Smith from 7.30pm tomorrow night. Do try and get across if you are free - he really is very entertaining!