Sunday, 11 June 2017

Northamptonshire v Derbyshire day 3

Northamptonshire 218 and 277 (McKerr 5-54, Palladino 3-60)

Derbyshire 176 and 191 (Taylor 69, Smit 29 not)

Northamptonshire won by 128 runs

So, after less than three days of a four-day game, another anaemic batting performance by Derbyshire saw them subside, without too much fuss, to a sizeable and hugely disappointing defeat.

It would be easy, in the aftermath of such a defeat to demand changes, and doubtless there will be those who say just that, but the reality is that this was one of those poor performances that have for a long time frustrated supporters, just at the point when light can be seen at the end of the tunnel.

We don't play any more cricket until June 26 at Cardiff, which gives everyone time to think, work and regroup. By that stage we will have Viljoen, Davis and Tahir in the attack and it should make us more competitive as a result.

I'd love to see us retain Conor McKerr until season end, because he is a player of real quality. Ten wickets in only his second first-class match is a remarkable effort in a 19-year old and he is the youngest-ever player to take ten in a match for the county.

Retaining him would be better for his development than playing in Surrey seconds, while enabling Derbyshire to rest the returning quicks as required. Watching his action, his wickets and his attitude it is very easy to see why he was so highly-rated in South Africa. The lad likes to bowl and, according to Billy Godleman, keeps asking to bowl. No captain can ask for more from an opening bowler.

He produced the type of spell this morning that I suggested we needed last night, but the top order was blown away by another fine opening bowler, Ben Sanderson, who fully illustrated the virtues of a late developer. Aside from Alex Hughes (again) only Daryn Smit, Tom Taylor and McKerr prevented the game's denouement from being embarrassing.

If we were playing another game on Friday, you might look at the batting and changes, but I don't know how you could genuinely guarantee improvement. Ben Slater might then have come in for Luis Reece, while he was restored to full health (and let's not forget the game may have been much closer but for batting ten men in each innings) but who else?

Thakor, Godleman, Madsen and Wilson are all established first team players and have previously been in decent or very good form. Alex Hughes and Daryn Smit, the two who have previously been the most short of runs, were the only batsmen to resist here, though mention should be made of another good batting effort from Tom Taylor, who is developing into far more than a tail-ender.

Every team has its good days, just as they all have their bad. We seem to have a few too many of the latter for comfort, but I still look at the overall picture and see progress, albeit of the two step forward, one back variety. Or is it the other way around?

To close on a brighter note, I guarantee we won't lose in the next fortnight.

And I still have no idea why we opened twice with Jeevan Mendis...

14 comments:

Ash said...

Just hope John Wright can have a positive impact, I know hes here for the T20 but surely we must use and abuse him while hes here, a fresh pair of eyes could be just whats needed at this stage. On another note its a good job we've got a 2 week break, chance to get the walking wounded fit, Thakor has a achilles problem, Wilson a knee, Smit has a finger, elbow and muscle problems, I guess Reece had been told to rest for a while, just hope Will Davis and HV dont have any setbacks, will Mckerr be available for the next CC game or will his 28 days be up?

Ian said...

I'm not as downbeat as you PF. To lose your opener for both innings is a bit more than unlucky. It was probably unwise for JM to open in his stead,but if he put up his hand and others didn't,when the likes of AH,WM,GW all have a technique better suited to covering the position.

I think todays flurry of early wickets and subsequent recovery showed that the new ball was crucial,and we didn't use it as well as we might yesterday. Today however was a different story,and we blew them away,while probably also realising that the first 60-90 mins of our inning would be equally crucial. And so it proved.

I think it could have been a cracking finish,IF LR had been able to take a full part in the game.

Never mind taking CM for the rest of the season,how about looking at a permanent signing. He could struggle for some time to get anywhere near the surrey first team with what they have available,yet has shown such ability and a big heart in such a short time with us. If we don't try,i'm sure there are other counties also watching with some interest

Knack said...

What about Hughes at 3 and Thakor at 5

Peakfan said...

Dont know to answer your question Ash but they need to get them fit. Shiv is key to death bowling in T20.
And they will use JW very wisely to mentor coaches

Martin Edwards said...

You've made some excellent points, Peakfan, but I'm not sure I see any actual evidence of real progress, even though Viljoen, Davis and Tahir should improve things. Winning one or two one-day games, or having one or two good days in a four day game means little or nothing if overall we remain the weakest team in the country. Yet we have some good players - so what is wrong? We've lurched from an over-elaborate and ineffective management model to the other extreme, one where, we were told, "the players have to take responsibility for results and performances". But what on earth does this mean, in reality? Does it mean anything at all? Billy Godleman is a fine player, and might one day become a successful captain in terms of results. But can it be helpful to abdicate to him and the other players responsibility for decisions on whether to recruit a replacement for Neil Broom, or to bring in a loan player? Surely it adds to the pressure on him, in an unfair way, and perhaps contributes to strange decisions such as opening with Mendis. Sooner or later there will have to be visible management of the team from above. Someone does have to take responsibility - in a way that is apparent to long-suffering supporters who are desperate for a sustained improvement. I suggest this is a change that people are entitled to demand.

Peakfan said...

Not downbeat Ian but frustrated. They can do better than this as Billy's post match comments confirmed.
The extra bat, as I noted, would have helped beyond doubt but I doubt we can get Conor on anything but a loan. He is doing what Surrey wanted him to do and is contracted to the end of next year.
I very much doubt we could match any offer they make..

Peakfan said...

Absolutely Knack. Their style of play would make it a better fit for each. Shiv is a fine bat but flash 40s are no use at 3. Alex is more old school in the 4 day and did well at end of last year there.

Dave from Luton said...

Some very poor batting and some excellent bowling by both sides.
Derby fans must wonder how a team that so nearly beat Notts last week were so spineless this week. Truth is that after rolling over Northants in the first 75 minutes, the Derby top order gave their wickets away with very poor shots. Sadly the captain was the worst offender and others quickly followed his example. Clearly the cause was not helped by the loss of Reece, the second time in successive games at Northampton when a player has finished up in hospital. Last time it was Levi after being hit on the head. Ironic that at a time when football is considering 5 substitutes, cricket will only accept substitute fielders. Perhaps it is time to change the rules to allow a full replacement for genuine injury

Dave from Luton said...

Some very poor batting and some excellent bowling by both sides.
Derby fans must wonder how a team that so nearly beat Notts last week were so spineless this week. Truth is that after rolling over Northants in the first 75 minutes, the Derby top order gave their wickets away with very poor shots. Sadly the captain was the worst offender and others quickly followed his example. Clearly the cause was not helped by the loss of Reece, the second time in successive games at Northampton when a player has finished up in hospital. Last time it was Levi after being hit on the head. Ironic that at a time when football is considering 5 substitutes, cricket will only accept substitute fielders. Perhaps it is time to change the rules to allow a full replacement for genuine injury

Ash said...

Couldn't agree more Martin, we need a good coach to work with Billy and the team, operation kidnap should be started at the 3a, Connor Mckerr and John Wright should be top of the list till the end of the season for starters

Tim, Chesterfield said...

I'd normally lament a lack of cricket in high season but it's probably just what we need. Unfortunately.

Paul Fitzpatrick said...

We continue to try and use all rounders in the critical role of 2 and 3 ... Reece Thakor Hughes ( last year)
It requires a specialist for that role , preferably averaging 40 plus
Reece 33 Thakor 37 Hughes 26 feel like a compromise
Coupled with a depleted attack it is hard to see a victory on the horizon
McKerr recalled today puts extra pressure on getting Davis and Viljoen fixed for Glamorgan
Godleman Slater Madsen 1 2 3 please until we recruit or a second team player breaks through
Time to take stock ... J Wright SOS

Ash said...

There does seem to be too many players who do a bit of everything.......Thakor has a chance of being a genuine quality all rounder, but not at 3 in my eyes, Reece, well Im not sure whether hes better with bat or ball, Hughes? Well Billy clearly doesn't want to bowl him but he hasn't got the weight of runs for me to get continuing selection in the CC. Billy and Ben Slater should open for the rest of the CC season Thakor down to 6/7 (not a slight on him at 3, just to help take the pressure off) Give Harvey a run with the gloves and hopefully Davis and HV will be back for the Glamorgan game. Something needs to give, we're 6 games in and still no wins, I echo the the comments above....JOHN WRIGHT SOS

Dave said...

John Wright has been engaged as coach purely for the T20 competition.
Dynamo the magician is the man required for Derbyshire if they are to have any chance at all in this format of the game, we have no batsmen capable of scoring 50 plus runs in the first 6 overs on a regular basis. Wes and Ches have not been replaced adequately.
Even in the 50 over competition our batting was steady rather than spectacular when quick runs were needed to establish a winning position. Accomplished six hitters are a must for the T20 competition.