Thursday, 28 July 2016
Durham v Derbyshire T20
Will they? That's a more complex question, but I think they will.
There's been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth today and I get the reason why. We should have beaten Lancashire and probably would from that position seven times in ten. The other three is why supporting the club is such a roller coaster ride, because you can never call it with total confidence.
It's done now, the impact will be seen by Monday and we must accept that. All we can do is aim to win all the games from here and see if other results go our way. If we lose them, then we just need to go again another year. Life goes on and, disappointing as it is, there are more things in life to worry about.
This evening the club announced the signing of Warwickshire wicket-keeper Alex Mellor (pictured keeping wicket) on an initial month's loan. He's a Staffordshire lad who has played most of his cricket for Leek, so I have no doubt that Kim Barnett's counsel has been sought on his worth. The lad can obviously play, as he got a double century for Staffordshire last year, as well as taking eleven catches in the same match. He's got some good runs for them this year and another left-hander down the order is never a bad thing
He should not be confused with the target for next year, in my opinion, as I think the club will aim for am established county professional for a pivotal role in the side. If we can get a keeper who is capable of batting in the top five, especially in one-day games, it would balance the side and allow us to recruit a bowler that we badly need.
We will go through if we win and either Birmingham or Yorkshire lose, but our bit is the focus. I don't see many changes, as we are fast running out of players, but the batting will be worthy of consideration. Would Chesney Hughes or Neil Broom strengthen the line-up? I see them coming in for Ben Slater and Billy Godleman as the changes, as well as Mellor for Harvey Hosein, who was never going to be fit for three games in four days. There was perhaps discussion on Wayne Madsen getting the gloves, but for a man with little experience in the role, that's asking a lot at short notice.
Jimmy Neesham is a strong addition to the side, of course and a big performance from him would help us immensely.
Two final points tonight. Andy Carter signing for Hampshire to the end of the season...that surprised me. Will he take division one wickets? Based on what we saw, no, but cricket is a funny game and a change of environment can sometimes work for players.
Finally, thanks for the continued support of the blog. Last month set a new record for visits with almost thirty thousand. This month will go past forty thousand tomorrow, a figure that tells its own tale on the interest in the club, irrespective of results.
Long may that continue!
No news on either squad at present, but Phil Mustard is on loan at Gloucestershire and that can only help our cause. Having said that, they have some dangerous batsmen and could easily put the game out of our reach if we don't hit lines and lengths from the off.
I'll be back tomorrow night with my comments on the game and hope for an improved performance - and result...