There was a cracking night at Chesterfield Library last night for the launch of my book on Derbyshire 'In Their Own Words'. My sincere thanks to everyone who came along and I hope you enjoyed the cricket chat. The impromptu panel of Edwin Smith, Harold Rhodes, Alan Hill and Keith Mohan raised a lot of laughs with their reminiscences and also made some pointed and worthy comments on the modern game and that of their times. I am grateful to them all.
Golden memories and a terrific evening for the Peakfan mental scrapbook.
The recent rain has put paid to seeing the second team at Denby, though I hope for a little one-day action tomorrow. Tomorrow evening I will be down at Derby for the T20 against Lancashire, the first of three games that John Sadler has admitted we have to win. Without doubt that is the case and even that may not be enough now.
Lack of nous cost us on Sunday. Irrespective of who is bowling, most batting sides would fancy 16 off two overs and naivety cost us. Experienced men will go for an early over boundary to ease the pressure, then take singles to coast it. That we lost four wickets in those two overs and only finished one short with a last ball six was disappointing and on such small margins are success and failure judged.
Tomorrow's side is unlikely to show too many changes, as it is the best that we have available. Greater experience will aid that and we have run good teams closer this summer than before. The next step, with the addition of the right personnel over the winter, is to start to edge these last ball and last over finishes. Five per cent more, perhaps not even that, is what is required and where we need to work over the winter.
The game is unlikely to go like the one at Old Trafford, where we annhilated them pre-Guptill. Although he has come and gone, in Jos Buttler and Alviro Petersen they have had a dynamic and dangerous opening pair who can put them out of sight in the opening overs. Buttler misses out with a broken thumb, however and they name the following squad:
Steven Croft (Captain), Karl Brown, Nathan Buck, Jordan Clark, George
Edwards, Arron Lilley, Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood, Tom Moores (W),
Stephen Parry, Alviro Petersen, Luke Procter, Luis Reece.
We need to dig deep on those winter disciplines, use a bit more common sense at times and hope for our share of luck. Then we might, just might, beat Lancashire.
Oh...and we need to win the toss and bowl. Improves our chances considerably, but you know that...