Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Northamptonshire v Derbyshire day 4

Derbyshire 324 and 229-1 (Hughes 109 not, Godleman 94)

Northamptonshire 470 (Levi 104)

Match drawn

A match that looked like it had 'draw' written all over it from the end of the second day lived up to its moniker today.

The wicket was simply too good for a finish and Billy Godleman and Chesney Hughes saw us comfortably through to a draw with a superb opening stand of 215. It was the latter's second ton of the season, in which he already has 400 runs at a trifling average of 133..

It was a fine effort, albeit with controversy when Billy Godleman refused to walk for a catch near the boundary, believing the ball hadn't carried. The fielder said he had caught it cleanly, the batsman felt he hadn't and the umpires agreed. Whether the home side and its supporters were unhappy is neither here nor there, but any batsman is entitled to stand his ground if unsure and the decision has to be made by the umpires. That is, after all, why they are paid. We have all seen and many of us taken catches we felt clean that bounced just ahead of our dive - think back to the T20 World Cup final and the 'catch' taken by Jos Buttler from Marlon Samuels.

There will doubtless be calls of Billy 'attracting controversy', but I don't buy it on this occasion.

Last week I talked about the need, on such dead wickets, for sides to play 'brave' cricket and there was another example here, where the home side failed to do so. Their decision to bat on last night left them only one slim window to win the game - making enough runs to sow seeds of doubt in our minds, then bowling us out. It appeared an unlikely scenario on such a track and, with respect, needed a better attack than they have to do so.

Had they declared on 300, or even 275, they had two chances. There was a slim likelihood of bowling us out, perhaps with quick wickets last night, or a better chance of chasing, say, 275 in 55 overs. It may not have worked either, but it gave them a better chance of a positive result.

Sides need to seek and take those chances this season, or it will go down as one of the most dull in recent memory. Look at the scores in the current round of matches and see what I mean. From a spectator perspective, last days have all the intrigue of watching a melting ice cube. If the four-day county game is to be eased out, they have found a mighty fine way of going about it. Death by boredom may yet occur...

It was good to see Andy Carter take two of the last three wickets today. He's not yet hit his stride, but I remain convinced he will. There are plenty of bowlers struggling this year and trying to make an impression at a new county is not easy in such conditions.

Still, we were professional to the end and a draw eased to is better than the scrambled efforts we have seen many times before, or the somewhat ignominious defeats.

You have to admit, the batting looks strong this year.

Sussex at home next. More from me soon.


daisypod said...

Without sounding
To "sycophantic". Peakfans analysis is
Precisely my view re godleman.
Whilst listening to the commentary
It appears libby didnt complain to much.twas wakely/ kleinveldt et al.
Harangueing the umpires.and causing more of a delay than necessary.
(A la chelsea & john terry style!) you'd have thought billy had murdered someone!,
Umpires are there to make a decision.IT IS THERE JOB..
They procrastinated for ages.
Making matters worse.
I dont blame BG for standing his ground.
Hes done nowt wrong!
Dccc after 3 games this season
Im quite sanguine actually.
Call me an optimist.half full etc.
One final comment.i must confess
i am waiting for young mr broom to kick on a bit.
Hes a very good batsman for sure.and
His form will spring to life very soon ive no doubt.

Roy of the Falcons said...

I think it will take some brave declarations or decisions to force results this season. l have been watching the Notts v Yorks game on TV and it looked like it was petering out to a draw so I turned off only to find that I had missed a tight ending. Yorkshire had had a go at chasing down the runs only to leave themselves looking at defeat in the final over.
On Tuesday after tea Northamptonshire showed us what can be achieved if you are confident enough to go out and have a go.

Mark said...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, to this season so far. Is it going to get better?.

Doug said...

Defending Godleman is embarrassing. If this incident had happened to us on the field, we'd all be up in arms.

He should have accepted the word of the fielder and so should the umpires otherwise how does this type of incident get resolved without TV cameras?