Friday, 5 August 2016

Leicestershire v Derbyshire day 2

Leicestershire 380 (Eckersley 117, Parkinson 4-90)

Derbyshire 199-6 (Madsen 76, Alex Hughes 40 not)

Derbyshire trail by 181 runs

Well, last night I did warn you that we'd need all of a lengthy batting line-up to cope with a keen home attack and so it transpired today.

After Callum Parkinson took a fourth wicket to finish with an impressive 4-90 on debut, the Derbyshire batting got starts but, apart from two players, rather gave it away.

One of those two players somewhat unsurprisingly, was Wayne Madsen, whose innings ended when he was 64 runs short of the thousand-mark for the summer in four-day cricket. Counties crave a batsman who nigh guarantees a thousand a summer from overseas. That we have one on our own doorstep is something we should cherish for as long as it lasts. There is no doubt that Madsen bestrides Derbyshire cricket like a colossus and I wouldn't like to think where we would be without him.

The other was Alex Hughes. Regulars will know that I rate Alex, an intelligent cricketer who will always battle and rarely gives it away. Whether his bowling develops into anything more than useful one-day stuff is a moot point, though that would be enough for most. His batting has been under-utilised this summer and, whatever happens over the winter on the coaching and playing front, I hope that we can find a means of better utilising his talents another year.

Late in the day he earned good support from Alex Mellor. The young keeper had done very well behind the stumps and, having seen it today, his catch off Parkinson was quite special. The ball turned and lifted and the keeper held an exceptional catch, standing up, from a good nick. He can be proud of his efforts so far and I hope he continues to bat well into tomorrow.

There's much for Derbyshire to do. We first need to avert the follow on and then reduce the deficit still further. While we succeeded in bowling a side out for under 400, few will be convinced that at this stage we can escape with anything worthwhile in this game.

More tomorrow.

1 comment:

notoveryet said...

We aren't actually that far behind where Leics were with 6 down, although the trajectory of the two innings feels very different - Leics were on the front foot against a threadbare and tiring attack, and we have fresh and strong bowlers to face with a very inexperienced tail. We should save the follow-on even so, but I think the best we can expect at the end of the day is to be batting again with 400 plus to chase.

It's a few years since I've been to Leicester, and although it's still not a favourite place to watch cricket, there are some impressive features.bvery redeeming features. Firstly admission of £10. I don't know how it affects the overall finances of the club to be charging half of what most others do, but it might actually encourage people to come and watch a few days' cricket. Second, the quality, price and range of the catering puts Derby to shame. Third, the vibrancy of the team, and the confidence they are playing with. The trajectory of the two teams over the last two seasons is striking, and as we rebuild from the mess that Welch left behind, they would be a useful model to look at, particularly as no-one can say that they have deep pockets that we can't emulate. It might be that they are gambling the future of the club, but if they are, there are no signs of it.

A few other points worth commenting on. No-one I've spoken to or heard is very clear about whether Neesham was or could have been available for this match. I've absolutely no argument about leaving out Rutherford, but that meant that Neesham could have played to strengthen our very weak attack. What's certain from this game is that we need to strengthen the bowling. I was no more impressed by Milnes than I was last year - he's got some pace but he has absolutely no control over length or line. It says all you need to know that even with as weak an attack as we've had, he's only been able to get into the team because everyone else has fallen over - and probably even worse news for White and Cork if Milnes is a better bet than they are. Alex Hughes didn't impress, either, only getting a few overs, which suggests that he doesn't have the confidence of Godleman any more than he had of Madsen, and Thakor isn't bowling nearly as well as he did in the first half of the season. Parkinson did impress, although he was probably given a lot more respect (or suspicion) by Leics than he demanded on the first day, and we can't expect either the wickets of the economy that he's achieved in the first innings. What's clear though is that we can't go through the rest of the season with this attack. If not Neesham, we need to look at the loan market to give us a chance of rescuing something from this awful year.