Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Professional Derbyshire pace chase to perfection

Warwickshire 292-7 (Hain 109, Bell 93, Thakor 3-48)

Derbyshire 296-6 (Slater 82, Godleman 46, Mendis 44 not)

Derbyshire won by 4 wickets

Last winter, when Kim Barnett was announcing the signings of various players, he said that he was looking for players who would get us across the line in matches.

Today, a number of those players, with notable assistance from existing and local ones, contributed to a fine team effort and an excellent record run chase.

Irrespective of mixed results, it is a long time since Derbyshire batted with the solidity and professionalism of this summer. You probably have to go back to Barnett's era, or that of John Wright and Peter Kirsten, to get anything similar and even they didn't rack up the runs that this side has in recent games as consistently. When one considers that you have a couple of handy clumpers at the bottom end of the order, there are reasons to expect one-day fun to continue.

The run chase was accomplished without major input from Messrs Godleman, Thakor and Madsen, all of them standouts thus far, but the rest of the batting delivered. Ben Slater played another fine innings and is a special player in this format, even if the partnership with Billy Godleman ended in a run out for the third time in five innings. Something to work on there, but they have been very consistent as a pairing so far.

Alex Hughes also played an important innings and remains a busy and important player in all aspects of the game. As for Daryn Smit, he has the calm head of experience on his shoulders and played a key role in resurrecting an innings that was wobbling a little at 170-4, with eight an over needed off fifteen.  He isn't the biggest hitter in the side, but any solid run chase needs a bloke who ticks over at a run a ball and provides the solidity that the bigger hitters need to do so freely.

Earlier, I understand, he also kept wicket impressively, as befits  man of his reputation behind the stumps. There is a tough call, moving forward, as to who gets the gloves for Derbyshire, for we are very well covered in that area.

Then there was Mendis. You hope, in these situations, that your hired overseas sees you home and shows his experience. Jeevan did that today, quickly into his stride and providing a fitting finale. While the early season wickets haven't been especially suitable for his bowling, he has been tidy, has taken us over the line today and probably effected the match-defining moment with the run out of Ian Bell. The right call as man of the match, for sure.

Earlier, the visiting batting looked set to get away, but they were reined back by an excellent spell by Shiv Thakor. It was also heartening to see Hardus Viljoen showing great nous at the death, with Thakor keeping the run chase to under 300 with canny closing overs.

All to play for then and a trip to the seaside on Friday.

Lancashire next and another win keeps us very much in the mix.

Well done lads. That was a good one today.


justmissin'leg said...

A very gratifying win, that one, Peakfan. We are now seeing a team that can compete. For Derbyshire, that is a huge positive and represents progress.

If we can build on performances like today and learn to manage game mentality, it should see us enter a new phase, whereby we back ourselves to close teams down (when we're fielding second), and/or are savvy enough to find a way to pace the chase.

Similar to the Northants game a couple of weeks ago, I thought Warwicks were about fifty runs light. Given the wickets in hand both had after 35 or so overs, both having centurions at the crease, we clamped down their ability to find boundaries.

Our opening pair look great at the moment. Though, as the host mentions, after an hour or so, there's an issue of concentration when running singles to mid-wicket, is it?

Madsen, from my position at square leg, was hit tall on his legs by Barker. Corbett gave him out lbw.

Mendis isn't tall. But he's a clean hitter,as well as finding some great angles to send the ball to the boundary. His running of twos was splendid. His removal of Bell, again as the host champions, was a key contribution.

Two away matches follow. The weather might play a part in both, more so the former. If we have a bit of luck, should there be rain and D/L, and avoid two defeats then Worcestershire at home could be set up nicely.

Anonymous said...

Our batting is impressing me greatly so far this season, and am I right in thinking John Wright is our batting coach Peakfan?. If so I'd say a lot of it is down to him. Great result today. Mark

Peakfan said...

No mate. He is T20 coach. Steve Stubbings is coaching assistant to first XI

Anonymous said...

Glorious weather and glorious cricket!  An intoxicating mixture.

Cannot quite believe we won that when you reflect on the fact that Warks were 215 - 1 at one stage.  One or two were suggesting that we may be chasing well in excess of three hundred, again.  Credit to the bowlers especially in the latter stages for curtailing the run fest.  Shiv's second spell and that of Jeevan Mendis helped rein in the score.  And it was good to see Hardus send down some sharp deliveries.  Also mention should be made of Ben Cotton who despite two sixes off his final over bowled well after his struggles against Yorkshire.  So hats off to the team for sticking at the task when it appeared likely at one stage that the opposition would post well in excess of three hundred.  Great run out by Jeevan as that was probably a key turning point.

We are becoming accustomed to Bill and Ben getting us off to a good start and they didn't let us down until the customary run out occurred.  They are, obviously, not mind readers!  It was a shame the partnership perished as they were going along nicely and Rikki Clarke was getting rattled.  He gave Ben a few verbals and he replied with a lovely boundary off Mr Clarke.  Considering, as you say PF, that Messrs Godleman, Thakor & Madsen 'failed' to contribute their usual quota of runs, it was encouraging that others stepped in.  Both Yosser Hughes and Daryn Smit scored a run a ball that kept us in the chase and then along came Mendis.  Inventive, unorthodox and enterprising,  What an amazing cameo.  Loved that six that hit the media centre and many of his shots with only one hand on the bat.

Very pleasing performance against a first division side and it keeps us in the chase.

And very interesting to see Chesney Hughes at the ground today, are we signing him up for the T20 Blast?!!!

Stuart, York

Peakfan said...

Enjoyable and interesting account Stuart, thank you!

It is a sign of the 'grit' in this side that when the chips are down they regroup and come again.

Chesney? Personally I think we have moved on and I would go with a combo of Slater and Wood at the top of the order. If his t20 record were stunning it is different. Surely, in a large staff, we have the skill set of top order basher, if our T20 coach decided we didnt need to hire one from overseas?

Adam said...

I concur with everything that has already been said, first off credit to Neil for preparing such good wickets. The 3 home games of this competition so far has seen 300 be the minimum score and it has led to some exciting run chases culminating in yesterday's brilliant finish.

As Stuart from York mentioned the little tussle between Ben and Rikki Clarke was a crucial mini battle which Ben won, it was very pleasing to see how Ben came through that and I hope that he will take these performances into his red ball cricket when it resumes.

Similarly, Alex Hughes played a very mature little innings at an important stage alongside Daryn, who also did nothing wrong behind the stumps. He is a calming presence at number 6 in the order.

Jeevan's innings was very entertaining and very surprising. When he first came in, I like quite a few others was surprised that Matt Critchley had not been sent in ahead of him but it proved a smart choice. It proved very useful having someone come in at that stage who has obviously faced a lot of spin bowling down the years, with Jeetan Patel being the biggest threat at that stage.

Bowling wise, once again Shiv was excellent, his one day bowling has been superb since joining the club and Hardus in his last spell started to show signs of what he is going to be capable of once he is fully fit. The rest stuck at it and kept Warwickshire short of where they would have liked to have been.

Weather permitting, it will be a tougher test tomorrow at Blackpool but one that hopefully we will embrace.

Ash said...

Didn't go today but listened on the radio and spoke to someone who went after the game, In truth it sounds like we were playing Warks and the 2 umpires, Mads got a shocker and at the interval the wide rule was obviously changed. Credit where credit is due we kept going, the bowling dept is improving and a comment on the radio was that HV was bowling faster at the end of his 10 overs then he has done yet, good signs. Even if you think the game is getting away from you it only takes a decent 3 or 4 over spell to pull you right back in the game, have we got bowlers that can do that? I believe we have, the players just need to believe it at it looks like they are. Not wishing to sound nasty but the bowling has improved since Tom M has been dropped, I'll be looking at the 2nds fixtures shortly to see when he's back in action and hope he find a spark. In previous times our batting would of collapsed but not yesterday. Just 1 thing, can Bill and Ben please spend a couple of hours out on the square today organising who calls what runs please. If we avoid defeat tomorrow (win or no result due to the unpredictabe Lancastrian weather) we could really be in the mix. I notice the game is at Blackpool, that 'might' be a bit of a leveller opposed to it being played at OT, does anyone know if Jimmy A will be playing? See you all on Tuesday in a game I hope will not be a dead rubber.

Anonymous said...

Impressive chase despite a few jitters 10 overs out. Mendis brilliant. Hughes and Smit solid and just what we needed but mention to the bowlers as frankly we should have been chasing 350 again. Fantastic to keep them to under 300, i think the last 10 overs went for something like 60, run a ball is a right effort, well done lads. We go again.

David Woolley said...

I've got nothing to add on today's game Peakfan. You and your bloggers have covered everything. Great weather, great cricket and great result.
Just a quick question. How does qualification work??
The BBC website shows after the group matches, four quarter finals, QF1, QF2, QF3 and QF4. This leads me to believe that the top four in each group qualify. One and two in north group play at home v three and four in south group and vice versa.
I am getting confused because today in the Derby telegraph, it says the top three qualify!!!
Any clarification would be gratefully accepted.

Opening Bat said...

I agree peakfan, Chesney would be a retrograde step, he is no better than many we have and sends the wrong message to the current squad. Wood & Slater to open, how about Critchley to move up the order in 20/20?? Hopefully when 4 day cricket returns we see Harvey Hosein return to the team, as others I am very concerned for his future at Derbyshire if he is excluded for too long, who will be our keeper in 2 years time, not Smit or Wilson, hopefully Harvey is still here!
Excellent win yesterday, to contain them to less than 300 was unexpected, Hain & Bell were in total control not hitting one ball in the air, we should have been chasing near 350 from the position they were in, great to see a Derbyshire team still competing when the going got tough.

Peakfan said...

Good to see your positive comments gents. Opening Bat just one comment...why couldnt Wilson or Smit be keepers in 2 years time? Both are young enough and fit enough to offer 5 or 6 summers assuming form and continued fitness.
Harvey was promised opportunity but it must be when his form and the team balance allows it. Not just 'because'...

jasper said...

Top 3 qualify this year.. so expect us to finish fourth!!

Opening Bat said...

I agree no one has the 'right' to a place and not advocating this for Harvey, yes the balance of the side has to be right but I believe that if we are investing in developing players through the academy, especially producing players with the talent of Harvey and others, we should continue their progress through county cricket. Despite his age (20?) he has shown he has the ability both with gloves and bat to more than 'survive' in county cricket.
Yes both Daryn Smit and Gary Wilson probably have a number of years left in the tank, but we have a home grown Keeper who could give 10,15 or more years service to DCCC (if not selected for England), who I suggest would not want to wait 2 or more years for his chance to become No.1 keeper.
I have nothing against Daryn Smit or Gary Wilson, neither of whom have let us down, I just fear that we could lose an exceptional long term talent. With the young players we have coming through it is exciting times at Derbyshire, especially if we can keep them together for the future.
Having said all that I am sure Kim Barnett and the team are continually talking to, supporting and hopefully planning Harvey and the other youngsters future at Derbyshire.

Snapper said...

Could someone explain the RL cup how can three qualify. Is there a best two after that I can't see how a quarter final works with six teams?

jasper said...

Top teams from each group now go straight to semi final. If it's not broke they still try and fix it!

Peakfan said...

Thanks Jasper. That saved me a little time!

Opening Bat said...

I think top teams in each division get a bye into semifinals (and have home semifinal), and quarterfinals are 2nd in north plays 3rd in South and vice versa, and those winners go through to away tie in semifinal. How to make things complicated!!

Ian. said...

Agree 100 % with "opening bats" comments regarding Harvey Hosein.
Bob Taylor was the same age when he began his county career.
How many Academy players have made such an impact since its inception ? The whole purpose of the Academy was to produce homegrown players.
If he fails to consistently get a place in the side for the four day game, one can imagine any number of counties looking to sign him.
Can the club afford to loose such a talented player ?

Peakfan said...

Fair enough Ian but Bob was competing for the place soon to be vacated by George Dawkes with Bob Stephenson. Two young keepers vying for one place.
Harvey is competing with Ireland's number one and a near South African international keeper.
Thats a big difference. Yes we want to encourage him but he has tough opposition.