Monday, 16 May 2016

Essex v Derbyshire day 2

Essex 538-7 (Browne 255, Lawrence 116, Thakor 4-107)

Derbyshire 124-2 (Godleman 43, Hughes 37, Rutherford 28 not)

Derbyshire trail by 414 runs

Like old man river, Nick Browne kept rollin' along today and became the second batsman in consecutive games to score 250 from our attack. Once again it is neither a game nor a wicket that bowlers will look back on with fondness, but that has been par for the course this summer.

Again, Shiv Thakor was the pick of the bowlers and at this stage vies with Chesney Hughes as the player of the season, albeit at an early juncture. He has obviously worked hard at both his batting and bowling over the winter months and is starting to reap the rewards. Good luck to the lad, he has earned it.

There was little else to cheer today, but both Tom Taylor and Ben Cotton went for under three an over and I will take that from a young bowler on a pitch that offers little help.

That was evidenced by our reply, which progressed serenely along until perhaps a loss of concentration did for both openers, sadly at the point when they were well-set and should have been cashing in like Browne did earlier.

We need Rutherford and Madsen, the two not out batsmen, to dig in and bat long tomorrow, while runs from Neil Broom would be most welcome. Both Kiwis will be ready to welcome Jimmy Neesham, who arrived in Derby today, ahead of the T20 competition.

The forecast for day four is not especially good, so once again we can only salvage a draw from this game. Yet salvage it we must. It is all about professionalism and doing exactly the job that you are paid for.

This time tomorrow, I hope to report on a solid and efficient Derbyshire batting display.

There is absolutely no reason not to, the way this wicket has played.


Mark said...

But no wicket for Taylor, Cotton or Critchley Peakfan. Ominous signs ahead for our supposed attack this summer.

notoveryet said...

After 2 days at Chelmsford and Bristol, and 1 at Northampton, I’m ready to give up on the groundhog days of away trips. The bowlers get battered, the batters score below par and we end up batting for a sterile draw. Rain tomorrow may save us again though.

I was as surprised as anyone by the decision to bowl first, but it wasn’t as stupid as the scoreboard suggests. There was some movement throughout the first day (and indeed yesterday) and the lunch score on the first day might have been 80-4 with Browne gone if Critchley and Hughes had held on to catches. The problem was that too much of our bowling (particularly Cotton and Taylor) was so wide that batsmen could leave at will. Their economy rate was mainly due to this, and it made for sterile and turgid cricket. I’m sure it was a deliberate ploy to hang the ball as wide of off-stump as possible to frustrate the batsmen and invite them to take risks, but it became clear that it wasn’t going to happen, and wasted the opportunities the pitch offered. Taylor certainly is better than this. I said in a previous comment that I wasn’t convinced by Cotton (not that I’d never been impressed by him) and my view is that Derbyshire are trying to make a genuine fast bowler of him, rather than the big medium pacer that he’s built to be, bowling from his full height and hitting the pitch hard. The failure of our young fast bowlers to develop and improve is a real frustration, and it’s not good enough to explain it on the grounds of age alone, when Essex has an effective pace attack led by a 22 and 18 year old. Yes, they are supported and given some protection by the old pros in Napier and Bopara, but we could have done the same if we hadn’t kept on letting the experience go elsewhere.

Essex’ bowlers showed yesterday that there is still something in the pitch when it’s pitched up and straight, and there were also one or two signs of erratic bounce that could cause problems as the game goes on. It’s as easy to imagine 220-8 and staring down the barrel at lunch today as it is 250-2, as I don’t share others’ confidence in the batting at the moment.

Hughes is scoring lots of runs and has helped to save three games, but he’s not contributing a great deal in the first innings of matches when the game is there to be shaped, and his average is being inflated by easy runs from Gloucestershire and Northants once they gave up trying to bowl us out. Godleman’s positively skittish at the moment, getting good starts but getting out (often quite recklessly) before he makes it count. Rutherford is an enigma, looking very solid before launching wild shots – I wonder about his concentration, as his fielding is erratic as well. Madsen isn’t playing with the same positive intent that we’ve got used to. He often seems very passive which lets the bowlers settle to bowling line and length at him, and he’s been caught on his crease a couple of times. Whatever his past record, Broom needs a big innings here to justify keeping an in-form Slater out of the team (different question about the best way of accommodating him without disrupting Hughes). Thakor has been the most consistent, and he has shown the temperament to bat well in tough situations (as he did several times last year, regardless of the criticism of his overall contribution). He’s good enough to bat higher than his current position, but hasn’t really justified it yet when he’s had the opportunity. We might get contributions from Critchley downwards as they all can bat, we can't rely on this, and have already leant too hard on the tail again this year.

Peakfan said...

Good comments Notoveryet/Mark. The only point I would say is we didn't 'let' experienced seamers leave. They wanted to take up more lucrative offers elsewhere that we couldnt match. Or if we had done, it would have meant we went into summer with only four seamers on the staff and asking for trouble...

Tim, Chesterfield said...

Another failure for Broom sadly. Unless he makes a score in the second innings his place must be up for grabs. Critchley concerns me as he seems to struggle keep the runs down and consequently there's no pressure on his occasional threatening delivery. His average and economy rate make pretty grim reading.

Stephen Roe said...

Oh the ignominy of being bowled out by Ravi Bopara.

Paul said...

I think we need to take a long hard look at our shortcomings and not get sidetracked by the rule change regarding the toss and the state of the wickets.

We are being totally outplayed consistently. I posted previously "it's quite possible we could have been played 4 lost 4" not as you said Peakfan "that if the games had played to a finish we'd have played four, lost four".

I stand by my comment, and it's now weather aside we could have been played 5 lost 5.

I agree we can't predict how a cricket wicket will play, what we can do is look at 1st innings deficits: 119,32,146,277 and now 258.

On average this season our first innings deficit has been 166. In the last 3 games, it has averaged well over 200.

That really is pathetic and is nothing whatsoever to do with rule changes or weather. Goodness this latest debacle has come having chosen to bowl.