Tuesday, 28 June 2016
Kent v Derbyshire day 3
Derbyshire 574-9 declared (Madsen 163, Thakor 123)
Kent trail by 163 runs
It would be a great surprise to me if this match ended in anything but a draw tomorrow, but another highly impressive Derbyshire performance has had the sports writers reaching for their thesaurus of superlatives.
Wayne Madsen made his fourth century of the summer and his 22nd for the county, a total surpassed only by JohnWright, Peter Kirsten, John Morris and Kim Barnett. Those names suggest the magnitude of the feat and I have no doubt that he will ultimately go past all but the supremely gifted, if unorthodox, Barnett.
Be in no doubt, while you enjoy watching him bat in coming seasons, that you are witnessing one of the greatest batsmen in the club's history. He is young enough and sufficiently motivated to double his current tally, unless his record comes under scrutiny at a higher level.
Wayne is now the highest scorer in the country. Sure, it is against division two attacks, as detractors will say, but runs are runs and it should not be ignored that in our summer in division one, he was one of the leading scorers in the country. First to the thousand mark, if memory serves me correctly.
I have no doubt that Wayne would score runs at the top level. He has a rock solid technique, being more organised than many who have played at that level. He is at home against pace and spin alike and has no discernible weakness. You can't bounce him out, because he rarely hooks; you can't bank on getting him early as he gets hands, eyes and feet working more quickly than most. Were there any justice in the game, he will be under consideration for a winter tour, because he WILL get runs. He made them as a captain, he's made them as one of the ranks. He is simply an outstanding cricketer.
Some years his junior, Shiv Thakor is also emerging as a special talent. He looked it at Leicestershire, had a quiet and modest year last summer and this time has looked a player of genuine class with bat and ball. 522 runs at 87, eighteen wickets at 27: by crikey, the lad can play. His bowling is always likely to get wickets, while his batting has the flourish of the best. He will be an England player in the next five years, without any doubt - and quite possibly sooner.
Their efforts took Derbyshire to a sizeable lead today, but Will Davis is unlikely to bowl tomorrow with a hip injury and the wicket is simply too slow for anything other than TNT to cause batsmen problems.
Nonetheless, in both making centuries against Kent for the second time this summer, Wayne and Shiv set a little bit of Derbyshire history.
We may not win a trophy this summer, but slowly and surely the blocks are falling into place for a good little team over the next few years. Four or five solid batsmen, a couple of all-rounders, two good young seamers emerging...
Yeah, plenty of reasons to be cheerful.