It's been a while since things were as good as this for Derbyshire fans. Summer 2012 would be my guess at the last time we experienced this level of euphoria after three straight wins.
It didn't seem likely when the news broke of Graeme Welch's departure, but the coaching and playing staff have done a remarkable job in the past week and deserve every credit for a sequence of results that has made people believe in the club again. Well, some, at least...
John Sadler was extremely magnanimous in interview, attributing it to the players doing what they had worked at over the winter months. It's true of course and these skills don't just happen with players running in and hoping. By the same token, John has poured oil on troubled waters, lightened the mood and presumably talked a lot of sense. You can go a long way with personality and talent, both commodities he has in abundance.
Mind you, they will do well to keep that vibe going over the course of the coming weekend.
Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on Friday. They racked up 445 earlier in the week, after Lumb and Wessels added 342 for the first wicket. As I write, they have racked up 415 against Warwickshire on an obviously belting track, the openers 'failing' in only adding 178...
They're too batsman-friendly for me. When a fine bowler like Jeetan Patel goes for eight an over, it is too one-sided, but as long as they win, neither the club nor its supporters will complain too much.
That's 520 runs added in two partnerships by Michael Lumb and Rikki Wessels, a reasonable indicator of quality, but then we should remember that any ball that can go for six can also get a batsman out. We all know the great leveler that is cricket and the game's history is littered with examples of batsmen who followed a big hundred with an early dismissal.
It should be well worth a watch, anyway and I just want to see our young side compete against our affluent neighbours, with a win a bonus.
We have shown that we can pace an innings well in chasing and the next challenge will be to set a good target and then defend. At their best, the batsmen have shown that they can tick along well at seven or eight an over without the panics that used to tarnish our run chases. What I've enjoyed in the last two games is seeing an early over boundary, then the batsmen knocking it around for ones and twos without going mad. Batting first is a different mindset - what constitutes a good score that we could have an expectation of defending? It will be interesting to see how we handle such situations.
Derbyshire's success in the one-day stuff is diametrically opposed to their struggles in the longer format, the reverse of Sunday's visitors to Chesterfield, Yorkshire. They will win the championship again this year, but they've not looked the same force in the one-day games, largely because they have rested key personnel.
No doubt a run out in the scenic splendour of Queens Park will leave a few people fancying a hit on a good track with a fast outfield, so I will read little into advance form in another game in which we will start as underdogs.
That's the way we want it. There's enough good players in the Derbyshire side for danger to lurk in underestimation, enough confidence for surprises to occur. Let's face it, we play two of the best sides in the country over the weekend, so there should be no disgrace in defeat.
If we win either of them, it would be something special.
And David did beat Goliath, after all...
Postscript - quite a bit of discussion on the last Derbyshire-born batsman to score a hundred in a List A game. I reckon it is Chris Adams, who made five centuries in one-day cricket in 1997, his final year at the club. Ian Blackwell, another mentioned in despatches, had a highest of 97 in our colours.
Unless anyone can tell me otherwise, I reckon that's the answer, which underlines the importance of the innings rather nicely.