A side that came very close to what I called as our T20 strongest did all it could do last night and clinically disposed of a Kevin Dean XI in a friendly match.
There was no Luis Reece, after his recent illness, and no Shiv Thakor, presumably rested after what seems to have been a season-long struggle with his ankle. Nor was there any sign of Imran Tahir or Matt Henry, somewhat understandably in the circumstances, but the side had more than enough to dispose quite clinically of a decent-looking side on paper.
With Ben Slater, Dan Birch, Matt Cassar and Garry Park in the opposition, as well as Kevin Dean, there was a familiar look to the side, but Derbyshire batted well to make 195-8 in their 20 overs. Billy Godleman made 26 and Tim Maxfield sadly failed, but the latter is worth more than a game if he was deemed worthy of a trial in the first place.
Tom Wood hit 54, as did Wayne Madsen, while late impetus came from Alex Hughes, who hit 29 from 12 balls. Ben Slater will have been pleased with the wickets of Gary Wilson and Matt Critchley and the total looked quite competitive.
It was even more so when Hardus Viljoen and Wayne Madsen took two wickets each when opening the bowling, the rest of them being shared equally between Critchley and Hughes, who took three wickets each for just nineteen and thirteen runs respectively as the opposition were all out for 91 runs.
They will face tougher opposition in the weeks ahead, but there were good indicators in the tactics, with Madsen's opening overs often effective, presumably opposite Viljoen's pace. Matt Henry and Imran Tahir will handle the middle overs, with Critchley, Thakor and Hughes there as required. With Maxfield and Reece also possibilities, Gary Wilson will not lack options out on the pitch.
More from me later.