Watching the game unfold today, I was left with one big thought.
Hardus, Hardus. Wherefore art thou, Hardus?
The Derbyshire attack is too similar. All right arm, medium fast, with the exception of Jeevan Mendis. Once you have lined up one, you effectively have them all.
Ben Cotton bowled some good balls in his first spell and continued to do so when he came back later. He seems to have worked out his game now and zipped the ball around well. Tony Palladino bowled wicket to wicket, without looking as if success was around the corner, but for the rest there was a lot of huffing and puffing, without threatening to blow the house down.
The exception was Jeevan Mendis and no one seemed to play him confidently. He varied his pace well and beat the bat on the inside and outside with regularity. The only shot assayed in anger resulted in Jennings being stumped by a distance and only a couple of balls pulled down short ruined an exemplary spell.
The Durham batsmen worked the ball around well and were largely content to push it into wide open spaces on a big outfield and wait for the bad ball to come.
Too many came early and both the excellent Keaton Jennings and Stephen Cook were able to get away to starts more easily than should have been the case.
Three stoppages for rain helped Derbyshire and left the batsmen having to re-start, but Duckworth/Lewis left Derbyshire chasing a notional 243 in 34 overs.
It was all largely academic though, because showers of increasing frequency and content meant that Derbyshire never got out there.
We'll take that, I think. On Sunday, we simply have to bowl better than this, or Northamptonshire will score 400.
After four wickets for the second team today, there must be a temptation to play Matt Critchley and go with two leggies for greater control.
For now, adieu from soggy Chester-le-Street.