Monday, 30 May 2016

Sussex v Derbyshire day 3

Derbyshire 150 and 195-6 (Thakor 58 not, Godleman 49)

Sussex 447-8 (Wells 104, Brown 61, Critchley 2-101)

Derbyshire trail by 102 runs

Barring rain of biblical proportions tomorrow, which would scarcely be fair on the home side, Derbyshire will lose this game by an innings and plenty, probably some time before lunch.

It has been a poor display, albeit one which highlighted a couple of things, as I followed events from afar (while painting my garden fence, truth be told).

One is that there is at least fight and discipline in the side, especially from some of the younger contingent. Quite frankly, Shiv Thakor is magnificent at present and can be absolved from any criticism with his willingness to occupy the crease, while still playing shots and scoring runs at a good rate. His average for the season is now a remarkable 94 and it must be something in the name, his willingness to battle for the cause reminiscent of Shiv Chanderpaul at his best.

Discipline was evident in the bowling. In a score of 447 in 110 overs, there were only twelve extras, which speaks volumes for the bowlers and wicket-keeper Tom Poynton, even if the end figures were not ones they will recall in their memoirs.

Our problems are twofold at present. One is the youth of the attack, which battles gamely but is a little out of its depth. In the long term they will benefit from the exposure to top level batsmen and there are signs from all of them that they are, if not swimming strongly in the first-class game, bobbing along gamely on the tide. Ben Cotton, Tom Taylor and Matt Critchley are all showing promise in bursts, but it is unrealistic to expect them to run  through teams.

The other is in the batting. Thakor speaks for himself, Wayne Madsen is averaging his usual fifty and Chesney Hughes 65. Cap'n Billy is in the steady if not spectacular mid-thirties, but the problem lies with our two Kiwis.

That both are good players is evident from their records in the first-class game. However, it isn't happening for them right now and that must be a frustration for Graeme Welch, as much as supporters. There wasn't a single dissenting voice when Hamish Rutherford and Neil Broom were signed, but the reality is that they each currently average 25 in the four-day game, which is much less than Ben Slater, who is outside the eleven.

This isn't 'have a go at the Kiwis' hour, but with the status of overseas player and one brought over on a British passport comes expectation of performance. They know that and we know that. I have said before that a good county batsman should be averaging in the thirties, a very good one in the forties. For me, the benchmark of an overseas batsman has to be fifty or thereabouts. You are paid well and looked after, so the return should be relative to that. I admit I grew up on the feats of Wright and Kirsten, but we have had plenty of others who spoiled us from that angle, including Rogers, Di Venuto, Katich, Azharuddin and Jones. They set the standard that others must aspire to.

25 doesn't cut the mustard and both men have to up their games in the second half of the summer. It won't make any difference to the championship, because any expectation of achievement there is largely gone for the reasons stated above. Yet we need them to produce their best form and give supporters something to cheer in the one-day game. They can do it and on their improved efforts we can see performances improve.

In closing tonight, read a very interesting post from 'Roy of the Falcons' that I received earlier today and is below last night's piece. I totally agree with him as you will realise from the above, as well as the article I wrote 'Time for a Reality Check' last week.

Keep your comments coming my friends, but please avoid conjecture, personal stuff and insults.

It's a bad old trot, but as supporters, the clue is in the name - and this is when the players need it more than ever.

19 comments:

Tim, Chesterfield said...

I would have thought that conjecture is exactly what is required!

Knacker Knack said...

What are your views on the decision not to bowl first ?. My view, for what it's worth, is that it was viewed as the best way to achieve a draw, a side who thought they had a realistic chance of knocking a side over twice would have bowled.

Peakfan said...

No Tim...one thing I won't do is play with people's careers and lives. It isnt fair and isnt something that I will be a party to. Theres other places for that nonsense...

Peakfan said...

I agree Knacker. I would have bowled as theres often help at Hove early on. To bat suggests greater faith in the batting than I have at present, but also an awareness that a young attack could see us chase 600.

I dont know if it sweated under covers and changed a bit between toss and play, but we have been well on the wrong side of this one.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

What conjecture what are you hinting at then Steve?

We can talk about cricket and who should be playing and who shouldn't be etc without getting emotional about it. We're grown ups and so are they.

Andy Thorpe said...

Good balanced post mate. But this is turning into a really poor season already. The bowling in particular seems really weak. You refer to the days of Kirsten and Wright. Well, this feels like those years in the early 70s before the Barlow revolution that brought them in. Goodish players who seem to be trying, but nothing going right. It's all gone a bit Brian Bolus for me at the moment! There were days then when Buxton and Harvey-Walker opened the bowling. I'm pondering whether they'd be better than what we've got at the moment! And at least then, we had some good spinners.....

Peakfan said...

Not that conjecture Tim. Lets just say inappropriate and leave it there mate...

Peakfan said...

You are right Andy and as I.mentioned recently Eddie inherited good lads and was the catalyst to make them good or very good players. Where can we find his like again?

Knacker Knack said...

A real vote of confidence in the attack, better the fragile batting than the aneamic bowling.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

Maybe we should accept we are as we are and get what enjoyment we can out of it.

notoveryet said...

Nothing wrong with the decision to bat first, the only problem was the execution. It's possible the pitch sweated a little under the covers, but at the time the decision to bat was made, the skies were blue, and no-one was expecting any rain. What we've seen as the game's progressed has been increasingly unpredictable bounce, and I suspect that was what Derbyshire were looking at in deciding to bat first.

When you play as badly in all respects as we are, any decision or choice is likely to look foolish. Credit to Cotton (who I've not been particularly kind to in the past, but in the last two matches has shown that he can bowl with sustained hostility), Thakor, and Palladino, but otherwise it's been very poor. Hughes, Godleman and Madsen have all now slipped out of form and were lucky to survive as long as they did; Taylor is so bereft of rhythm that he's reduced to medium pace and even then can't find any control; Poynton's batting is barely worthy of a number 10; and Critchley can't carry on bowling in an attack that isn't creating situations in which he can bowl at batsmen under pressure. This is where a young leg-spinner should be learning, and carrying on playing him in this team at the moment is eventually going to destroy him.

What is unacceptable, though, is the gifting of wickets. For the third time in 4 innings, Rutherford was out to a reckless shot almost as soon as he got in. It may be desperation or poor concentration, but it's difficult to dismiss the idea that he just isn't applying himself in 4 day cricket,as his fielding is slapdash as well. Broom seems to be following his example, and Poynton's run out just before the close was pure suicide.

Rain may save Derbyshire again today, but we don't deserve the draw. Once we'd have looked forward to rain to help us save games, now we look forward to it just to save the embarrassment and humiliation of the performances.

Ian, South Africa said...

To DCCC fans of many years standing, the season is developing into an all familiar pattern. Great optimism at the start of the season quickly evaporates into a fight to avoid the wooden spoon.
Apart from the Kiwis failing to deliver, a bowling attack without Footitt was always going to struggle. If we can't bowl the opposition out twice then a championship win looks highly unlikely.

Mark said...

Oh well, I'm sure Welch will be delighted that we avoided an innings defeat, and will praise our battling spirit. Sorry, but totally outclassed yet again.

Dave said...

Having arrived at 1.45am on Saturday the Derbyshire captain should not have exposed his sleep deprived batsmen to a Sussex bowling attack in helpful conditions after a sultry rain delay.The game was lost in the first 40 overs.Nothing to be lost now by testing Milnes,Cork,Davis,White or Hemmings in Championship cricket.We need to find out who can provide us with a much needed boost to our bowling.

Peakfan said...

As words go they are wise and that gets me through the bad ones!

Peakfan said...

I agree Dave. Give them a try and lets see what they can offer

Anonymous said...

I'm not really that surprised what has happened this year. We struggled last year with Footitt in the side and now he's gone it's made harder to pick up the 20 wickets.

Serious questions need to be asked but whether they are answered is another matter.

Harry

P Fitzpatrick said...

Just got back from Hove
A very sad state of affairs
We look unable to take 20 wickets and thus we will prop up the table
Both overseas players , Godleman and Poynton were reckless when the sole objective was to bat 4 sessions for a draw
Sussex were without Wright Jordan Mills and Briggs
Only hope this year is a 20/20 top 4 spot , based on the state of our squad

Anonymous said...

re rutherford, he is reckless, always has been hecne why NZ dropped him. he accnot go any other way, if it comes off brilliant, but more often than not he gets out to a daft shot when looking set, caught at mid in the circle in front of the wicket usually.

still it could be worse, essex dropped their o/s player for the latest game, as hes done awful all season unfortuantely for him.

/high peak