Derbyshire 324 (Thakor 83 not)
Derbyshire lead by 258 runs
There was a shortened day at Wantage Road today, with Derbyshire adding useful runs for the last wicket once again, before the home side posted a steady reply ahead of the forecast rain, which wiped out the rest of the day.
I sometimes have reservations about late innings rallies. Good as they are, they are usually indicative of an under-performing batting unit and at this stage it looks like we did that here. 324 is a steady first knock, but when your last man comes in and knocks it around with ease, there is a suggestion that the 'proper' men should have done better.
Still, Carter the Unstoppable Six Machine did his stuff and helped Shiv Thakor to add valuable runs. Shiv will take confidence from this effort and rightly so. The lad can play and has much to offer us in the coming seasons. He seemed to use a lot of common sense too, not really a surprise from a level-headed young man.
My concern, at this stage, is the bowling. They are not, by any standards, bad bowlers, as you can't be if playing at this level. Yet there is a sameness about our attack, which regular readers will know has been my criticism of that of the national side. Right arm over times five, at different speeds, which rather allows batsmen to line things up and enjoy themselves. Mark Footitt gave us more than lightning pace, he gave us a change of angle, which in itself can be useful. Right now our attack looks like a tidy one that may do well in one-day cricket, rather than one which will bowl sides out twice, to win a game, but we will see.
It would appear that there is every incentive for Greg Cork and Harry White to work at their games though. Their left-handedness gives them an advantage which would benefit the side - as long as it is accompanied by right lines and lengths, of course...
It will be an interesting day tomorrow, not least to see how the home side play their innings. Do they aim for 450 and the hope of putting us under pressure on the last day? Gloucestershire tried that and it didn't work at all. Or do they get to 250 or 300, then pull out and see what sort of target we are prepared to set them on the last afternoon?
I wrote last week that on this year's wickets, teams will need to be prepared to gamble to get positive outcomes. Unless something extraordinary happens with bat or ball tomorrow, the last day would appear to need a little innovation to make something happen after today's lost time.
Hopefully we are on the right side of things, but I will be happy to see an attempt at a result.