Friday, 1 July 2016
Worcestershire v Derbyshire T20
Derbyshire 188-3 (Madsen 59 not, Hughes 43 not, Rutherford 37, Durston 32)
Derbyshire won by seven wickets with seven balls to spare
Even the cynics would have to admit that Derbyshire are playing some fantastic cricket right now.
In a game that was very much in the 'must win' category to keep our hopes alive, we won with some ease, thanks to a beautifully paced run chase that was the club's second highest in T20 history. There was a time when such a chase would have been around forty runs too many for us, but this side is made of sterner stuff. Led once again by the run machine that is Wayne Madsen,
Partnered by Chesney Hughes, Wayne added 97 in just nine overs to ease his side to victory. An unbeaten 59 from just 33 balls for a man who is in the form of his life right now. It is when you look at what was to come that you realise the talent in this young side. Neesham, Thakor, Hughes, Hosein, Critchley - they can all bat, they are all young lads.
Worcestershire only got back from last night's game in Durham at 3am, but it was an evening start. Derbyshire had an arduous journey down to Sussex from Northampton - and an 11am start - a few weeks back, so it is part of the job, if not necessarily easy. I also felt happier when I heard we had won the toss and were chasing - we do that better than setting a target at this stage. These little things can make a difference, but nothing should detract from a fine display against a side reckoned to be one of the best in this format.
Early wickets are always crucial and Jimmy Neesham and Andy Carter whipped out two each in the Powerplay. Both took stick at the end of the innings, as the excellent Ben Cox and Matt Henry flogged 62 off the last four overs, but in between there were exemplary spells from Alex Hughes, with a competition-best 3-23 and Matt Critchley, whose three overs only went for 20.
Mention again for the bowling discipline - only three wides and four no balls in the home side's innings, with Harvey Hosein doing a very solid job behind the stumps. It was good to see this talented young player back in the side and he let no one down.
There was much to do, but Durston and Rutherford set off at around ten an over and although Neil Broom failed, Wayne and Ches saw us home, even allowing for an interruption for rain that never helps the batting side. Even then one saw a newfound professionalism - Wayne hitting a six just before the players went off, to put us two runs ahead on Duckworth/Lewis. There was also some serious stick for Kyle Abbott, on his debut for Worcestershire, the South African quick going for 57 in 3.5 overs. It is an unforgiving game at times...
The win has made no difference to our league position in a very tough group, but if we can follow it up with a win over Northamptonshire on Sunday, we are very much in the mix for qualification.
Heady days...and warm congratulations to John Sadler. If one puts aside the disappointment of last Friday against Nottinghamshire, his side have produced consistent, quality cricket in the past few weeks, even in defeat.
He must be very proud of their efforts - and rightly so.