Before the season started, one of the games that stood out to me was the game against Lancashire at Blackpool. I've watched league cricket at the ground but not the county game. It would have been nice to tick that one off, but there's a few too many things going on in my life right now to allow for that trip, nice as it would be.
But let's hope that Derbyshire do like to be beside the seaside on a wicket that could be dry after the recent weather but could also offer help to seamers under what is reckoned to be a fair old cloud covering. There won't be any great need for knotted hankies on the head or the trousers rolled up, but with a 60% chance of rain forecast, old Duckworth/Lewis may come to the fore again.
Derbyshire has named a fourteen-man squad, but I would be surprised if there were changes to the side for the game on Wednesday. With Gary Wilson unavailable, Daryn Smit rightly retains the gloves and perhaps the only thought is whether Luis Reece's seam option may be more use than Matt Critchley's non-spin from the other day. Mind you, Critch is developing into a very handy closer of an innings, one capable of reaching and clearing the ropes, so my guess is he will be retained.
They come up against a very strong seam attack in Jimmy Anderson, Ryan MacLaren and Kyle Jarvis, one that will test our batting. With several talented young batsmen in the side, they will be a real test for our revitalised side.
Their squad is:
Steven Croft (Captain), James Anderson, Karl Brown, Jordan Clark,
Alex Davies, Haseeb Hameed, Kyle Jarvis, Simon Kerrigan, Arron Lilley,
Liam Livingstone, Ryan McLaren, Stephen Parry, Tom Bailey and Dane
Sometimes these games can depend on an element of luck. Run into a side with their England men missing and star players nursing niggles and tough opponents become less of a challenge. Certainly Northamptonshire without Kleinveldt and Sanderson were an easier proposition than it would otherwise have been. Mind you, Yorkshire handled the absence of big guns well and their batting took the game just out of reach of our talented batting line up.
It is some considerable time since I was able to write those words with any real conviction, but the RLODC batting of this Derbyshire side is worthy of the accolade.
Let's hope our current good mood doesn't deflate faster than a Pleasure Beach balloon. I can handle defeat if it comes at the end of a good battle.
We have been doing that this year and it is both refreshing and heartening.
Long may it continue.