Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Derbyshire v Sussex day 4

The rain came down again at Derby today, meaning we only had to bat for around a session on the final day of the game against Sussex.

We made 92-2 in that time, with Chesney adding to his season tally nicely with 58 not out. There were never any jitters, though Hamish Rutherford would have wanted some time in the middle - more than the one ball he faced, anyway.

Six points separate fourth and seventh, which we are tonight. The division has only seen four positive results in four rounds of matches, which tells its own story. I disagree with Paul, who commented the other night that if the games had played to a finish we'd have played four, lost four. This one, certainly, but no one can predict how a cricket wicket will play, nor how a day's play will do at a given point. While we have flattered to deceive at times, we are still - just - unbeaten.

Sunday will test us, as we head for Chelmsford and a match against the early leaders, Essex. Perhaps this is the year that those perennial under-achievers finally come good and we will need to raise our game by some considerable margin to compete. Essex are top because they are batting and bowling well. We are seventh because we are batting as individuals, rather than a unit, and our strike bowlers, Tony Palladino apart, haven't done well enough.

There is a strong argument for Ben Cotton to replace Andy Carter in this one, because he has been left out since Bristol and has let his figures do the talking. Today, he led the seconds to a great win over a strong Nottinghamshire side, taking 5-31 in fifteen overs, while Matt Critchley followed his innings of 83 with three wickets, as Nottinghamshire, set 306 to win, were bowled out for 195. Their side included Brendon Taylor, Sam Wood, Will Gidman and Will Root, so it was a fine effort by a young Derbyshire side. There was a wicket apiece for Alex Hughes and Tom Knight, so they can all be rightly pleased with their efforts.

It is all they can do - keep scoring runs, taking wickets and waiting for an opportunity.

It is then down to them to take it.

More from me tomorrow.

Postscript - less than two thousand views to the million mark. Crikey...never expected to get close to this, back when it all began...more on that in due course.


Mark said...

This is the only Derbyshire forum Peakfan, congrats on the near 1m hits. I was never as confident as you were about Carter being a top class bowler. He was never a big wicket taker at Notts and his early season bowling with us has been woeful to say the least. Add Fletcher into the mix, another low wicket taker and that's the problem, they don't take enough wickets. Simple!.

Doug said...

Fletcher returning to Notts early is a huge gap to fill but Ben Cotton should manage it easily. Anyway four unbeaten is not to be scoffed at. Can we extend it to five at Chelmsford? May need the help off the weather again.

notoveryet said...

I'm surprised that Fletcher's recall by Notts hasn't been commented on. He's never been a particularly prolific wicket-taker, but it's disappointing that we didn't see more of the control and discipline that he's renowned for, and was presumably brought in to provide. As it is, if Carter's dropped, we're talking about bringing in two of the younger bowlers, and I don't think that's sensible.

Carter is a decent bowler when he pitches the ball up, as batters have to play at him. As soon as he goes to back of a length or shorter. his bounce takes leg before and bowled out of the equation and the batsman can leave or play at will. He's bowled some decent spells this year and has suffered from poor catching, but the way he loses the plot at times has done terrible damage to us. What possesses him, and who allows or encourages him, is beyond me at a club where so much is made of the quality of the pace bowling coaching.

I'm not convinced by Cotton in four day cricket, regardless of his progress as a one day bowler. He rarely creates any threat and isn't economical enough to create pressure that others can exploit. Taylor at least has the virtue that he takes wickets, and that has to be one of our main concerns at the moment as we get ready to face the tougher prospects in the division.

The fact is that we have played the three weakest teams, and another in Sussex who came into the match seriously under-strength and out of form. Whether we would have lost one or more of them is neither here nor there, but there's no doubt that we were behind in all of them, conceding first innings leads in all of them, and three times having to bat to save the games. The bowling is the most obvious and glaring problem, but the batting is showing increasingly fragility, with middle order collapses undermining solid (if pedestrian) starts. We can't afford to carry on with Broom and Durston at 5 and 6, particularly if Rutherford is going to carry on wasting good starts.

I've some of all four games and, like Paul, I think we're in very big trouble this year. It's a sobering thought that we've now gone 9 games without a win. Apart from the excusable year in Division 1 as we struggled to come to terms with it, this is the longest sequence without a win since John Morris' last full year in charge.

Peakfan said...

No real surprise Notoveryet. I work in an environment where mobile phones are not allowed for data protection reasons and missed the tweet re his recall. Since I work long hours and he was signed for five games
I assumed he was around for Essex.
Maybe Carter will respond to being the main man, with Palladino. I agree that bringing in 2 youngsters is a big call, but sometimes opportunity brings reward.
Bit harsh to say you have never been impressed by Cotton as a four day bowler. It suggests experience beyond 11first class games. Maybe at 22 he is ready. He will likely play at Chelmsford so we may soon find out against a very good batting side..