Saturday, 15 April 2017

Derbyshire v Northamptonshire day 2

Derbyshire 281

Northamptonshire 291-9 (Holden 68 not, Duckett 53, Newton 50, Davis 4-55)

A day that ebbed and flowed at Derby today, with late runs from Alex Hughes and Tom Milnes edging Derbyshire to a decent first innings tally. By early afternoon, with the visiting openers putting on a hundred, it didn't look close to enough, before persistent bowling, loose shots and fine catching reduced them to 171-8. Matt Holden and Nathan Buck then put on a crucial stand of 89, before Jeevan Mendis got his second wicket of the day.

There were four wickets for Will Davis, who continues to look a terrific prospect and two for Shiv Thakor, who worryingly had to leave the field with an ankle injury in the final session. The absence of Viljoen's bazookas was felt, but Derbyshire can be pleased with a position of parity at this stage.

There were two puzzles for me today. Luis Reece bowled as first change, but never got an over afterwards, suggesting that he was either injured or oddly ignored. Meanwhile, Alex Hughes never turned his arm over at all and his skiddy medium pace may have been just the thing to break that ninth wicket partnership, given opportunity.

What we do appear to have is an excellent close catching combination, with Madsen, Smit and Hughes taking good slip catches and Wilson a good one down the leg side. Only nineteen extras conceded to the visitors 47 too, but we will want to finish the innings quickly tomorrow and not have too great a deficit to claw back on a wicket that continues to offer something for the bowlers.

Its a funny game. Sometimes as a captain you have the wrong bowlers on. Other times you have them on, but at the wrong ends. Today we struck a combo that worked after lunch and looked to be well on top - until that final session, when we rather let them get off the hook.

Where does it go from here? Well, we will need a lead over 250 on the final day and then hope that the wicket dries enough to help our Sri Lankan leggie. The batting will again be tested by a keen Northamptonshire attack tomorrow and must show similar resilience to the first innings.

Game on, for sure and if this close contest is a sign of things to come there will be few complaints by the end of the season.

Especially if we come out on top at the end...

6 comments:

Mark N said...

Good write up. Personally I found it very frustrating again. Letting them off the hook we should have been looking at a first innings lead and I think we might regret those last 2 stands. Viljeon will hopefully help finish situations off such as this but I found it disappointing we couldn't convert a strong position again to a 1st innings lead. Sure we are massively still in this but I feel we could have been batting tonight again and be well ahead and with all the initiative. Let's see what tomorrow brings. Massive well done to Davis in particular. I wonder if he will get the new ball at some point soon.

notoveryet said...

The simple answer to your question about why Reece bowled so few overs was that he bowled three rubbish overs as first change, coming on before Thakor or Davis. Milnes also bowled poorly opening up from the same end, and together they released the pressure being created by a typical Palladino spell from the other end, and wasted the new ball.

To be honest, we are actually quite lucky still to be in this game, thanks mainly to some undisciplined batting by Northants and some brilliant catching by Smit, Madsen and Wilson. Palladino wasn't at his best in his later spells, but both Thakor and Davis bowled well, and Mendis always looked likely to cause problems although he offered too many scoring opportunities for a bowler of his experience (although you have to make allowances for the bitter cold that made such the alien conditions for him). As far as Alex Hughes not bowling was concerned, I'm aware that you're a big admirer, but he is very ordinary in 4 day cricket, not accurate enough to tie down an end and not threatening enough to take wickets, and I'm not surprised that Godleman has no confidence in his bowling. He's playing as a batsman pure and simple, and will have to be judged by that standard.

Reece is an enigma. He clearly has impressed to go straight into the first team, but with the exception of a pedestrian half-century against a weak Loughborough attack on a bland wicket, in the other two innings I've seen, he's looked scratchy and unconvincing as an opener. With his poor bowling today, he needs a good second innings to justify his selection ahead of Slater.

With poor weather forecast over the next couple of day, I'm not sure there will be time for a result here, but if there is, with Thakor looking unlikely to bowl again given how much difficulty he had leaving the field, we need a good second innings and a much more disciplined bowling performance than we saw today.

Just a quick word on the state of the ground. The area at the back of the media centre is an absolute shambles, with uneven uncut grass, loose stone chippings scattered about inviting broken ankles, the marquee empty and fenced off, the tea bar and café looking abandoned with the catering facility moved into a trailer parked alongside it. At the moment, the media centre looks a little bit like a magnificent dictator's palace in a ramshackle poverty-stricken banana republic. Hopefully, plans are in place to sort this out before the women's world cup matches.

Peakfan said...

I disagree on a couple of points notoveryet.

Every bowler has a bad spell and it is the game. Sometimes a change of end helps, but if you are good enough to go on first change, you are worth later spells unless injured. Makes no sense otherwise.

Hughes? Goes for 3 an over in 4 day cricket and has a pb of four in an innings. Tight bowler in one day game too, so hardly a gamble for 3 or 4 overs later.

Only the very exceptional leggie doesnt bowl loose balls of course and it is a bit colder here than Sri Lanka!

Good analogy on the media centre...maybe needs a work party of volunteers. I will bring my spade later this month...

Adam said...

Interesting previous comments, I concur on notoveryet's comments on the ground. The toilets on the tea bar side of the ground are a disgrace and have been for a number of years, yesterday the light did not work, toilet paper was all over the floor and it was an embarrassment to the club. Although the ground has improved in recent years, standard facilities for the casual spectator have not and in some ways have gotten worse, toilets and catering facilities a case in point.

On the field I agree that Alex Hughes should have been given a spell and without Viljoen, we are as expected going to struggle to get 20 wickets, especially as Kim mentioned in the interview on Cricinfo, that we will be playing on better pitches at home. On the plus side we will take more catches as Smit is a really good slip fielder, he took a couple of blinders yesterday, played a hand in another one and we have been crying out for a safe pair of hands in this area for some time. I would also hope in time that we will get to see Smit's legspin as it is a shame that we have not got another spin option to partner Mendis, a solid reliable off spinner would have been useful. I do not think that Wayne's off spin will be enough and as Tim Groenwald writes in Wayne's Testimonal Brochure, he always complains about his back the day after bowling! Regardless of the result though it has been a very enjoyable game as Northamptonshire at full strength are a good side in all formats and at least we have been competitive.

justmissin'leg said...

I enjoyed my first full day at Derby yesterday. I gave the Beeb's weather forecast too much credence on day one, and only caught what play there was after tea.

A little sad that we didn't post 300 but the bowling was pretty good. Buck, I gather, produced his career best haul, a 'Michelle' (Pfeiffer).

I thought their opening pair looked safe and sound, and by the time they produced a stand of fifty, i felt we were in for a long afternoon of leather hunting.

I think I remember wondering why Mendis didn't bowl an over just before lunch. Although, even when he did come on, from the southern end to begin with, Newton seemed steadfast and unnerved, showing us in the temporary stand the variances of spin being produced, by mimicking Mendis' wrist-workings.

There was a break in play, which probably contributed to Duckett's demise. From 101/0, what followed was some decent cricket, with some useful slip catching, as earlier mentioned.
Sure, cold hands spill, especially to some fully driven shots. A couple were juggled and caught, on two occasions, I think, by a fellow slip. Wilson made good ground to hold on, and Smit's take off Mendis (now from the Racecourse end) was a beauty. A very gratifying dismissal for our leggie.

A pity we couldn't buy them out for 200, mind.

As I write, some seven miles east of Derby, it's grey but dry; we are 67/0. The draw odds-on, I'd have thought. Though tomorrow's forecast is predominantly dry. (Met Office, this time!). A draw would probably be the fairest result.

Encouraging stuff.

Am also bemused by the visual appearance of the bank behind the new media centre. Is there a plan as what to do with this bit of land? At the very least, it wants landscaping, or preparing for family friendly areas, given that cameras will soon be at the ground, and an international interest in the women's World Cup.

I didn't go into the toilets at midwicket but gather they're substandard. The building is now redundant and wants raising.

It's a pity, too, as I'm a nerd for a good scoreboard, and we don't have one. And why is the mini-board, at the new pavilion, two hours behind the game?

Good to see some Northants fans, too.

A decent day of cricket, even though we in the stands looked wrapped up enough to have been skiing.

Peakfan said...

Excellent comments folks! I am sure that the club will pick up on the toilet concerns. Those at the old press box have been wretched for years.
Point very much taken on the landscaping. I am sure that this will be sorted before media eyes across the globe are on the club