Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Derbyshire v Lancashire T20

Derbyshire 211-5 (Reece 97 not, Smit 42 not)

Lancashire 176-9 (Livingstone 44, Brown 41, Henry 3-37, Critchley 2-16)

Derbyshire won by 35 runs

On an evening that marked the halfway point of the T20  competition, Derbyshire won a game of marvelous entertainment by some distance in the end, although there were times when the result seemed less certain.

When Liam Livingstone took 26 from the first over of Matt Henry, I could imagine a few people reaching for their phones to make blog comments, on a player who has not yet impressed in Derbyshire colours. However, to his great credit he came back and his next three overs produced just eleven runs and three wickets. It was a test of his character and one that he passed with flying colours.

That Lancashire didn't mount the successful chase that looked likely at the halfway point was down to two other unlikely heroes. Matt Critchley has bowled little this year, but his dismissal of Karl Brown and Joss Buttler swung the game our way. The former was going well and we got the latter before he got into his stride, always important.

After that, the decline came fast and the runs dried up, as the recalled Ben Cotton bowled a great spell of four overs, costing just 28 runs. Big Ben is, for me, a solid performer in this format of the game and returned to the form that he showed over the past couple of seasons, crucially giving us an extra, dependable bowler. I suspect that he will now be in to stay, because quite simply he deserves to be in the side after such an effort.

It was encouraging to see Hardus Viljoen return to form too, after my criticism of both he and Henry at the weekend. You need your star men to take the lead and they both put in a good stint tonight. Meanwhile, although Imran Tahir went for a few boundaries, he too pulled it back and I am sure that a healthy crowd enjoyed his wicket and typical celebration.

Earlier, Derbyshire got off to a flyer and stayed at a steady rate, largely thanks to Luis Reece, who will have enjoyed his innings against his old team. He deserved a century, but although he kept getting on to the strike, he couldn't quite reach the landmark. Nonetheless, that was a terrific effort from the left hander.

At 134-5 in the fourteenth over, we could quite easily have subsided to 175 or thereabouts, much as we did at Edgbaston. To add 77 in those closing overs was  a terrific effort and full credit is also due to Daryn Smit for his crucial role.

Belying a suggestion  that he scores too slowly for the format, Smit's unbeaten 42 from just 20 deliveries took the pressure from Reece and heaped it on to the visitors, as we passed 200 with an over to spare. It also, for me, made more sense for him to come in with overs to bat, than the more aggressive but less dependable Henry. Twice now he has played crucial, late hands for us in this competition; each time that innings was the difference at the end of the game.

It was stirring stuff and must have been special for a large crowd on a balmy summer's evening. The club's coffers must have swelled nicely, just like our prospects in the competition.

Now for Friday night.

Let's go again, boys...

Now, I look forward to your comments!


Tim, Chesterfield said...

Excellent result & pleased more than anything to see some of the final economy rates from our quicker bowlers. Now to do the same on Friday.

Snapper said...

Terrific all round performance tonight, imho the best T20 performance I can remember at Derby. I think Matt Henry showed a lot of bottle to come back as he did, credit to Smit he plays very sensibly in situations when wickets have fallen. His 42 of 20 balls was achieved without taking a risk.

Anonymous said...

Had a great night, the ground was virtually full, and the innings by Mr L Reece was sublime, I remember last year when he played for Lancs against us and scored 30 odd (I think) he slapped it to every point , his innings today was brilliant, a couple of very special straight drives that went for 6 were sweet as a nut, fair play to Matt Henry, truly awful 1st over bit pulled it back very well, great team performance, looked like it was in the balance after 6 overs but we held our catches, enjoyable night indeed......on a side note spoke to a Lanks fan who sat next to me.......nice chap......but at the end couldn't help myself but say 'we're a little nicer round here than you are up there' he agreed...

Anonymous said...

What an excellent response after the Birmingham debacle. And especially encouraging when one considers that most of the top order failed and yet we accumulated more than 200runs batting first. No doubt Luis Reece had a point to prove and he achieved it with an accomplished innings. As PF has stated previously, if you are going to play a long innings you need to stay till the end. It's no good leaving the arena with still a handful of overs to be played out and Reece did exactly what was required.

Very interesting to note that many of the players who had a question mark hanging over them played no small part in this success. While Matt Critchley's batting has come to the fore his bowling has taken a back seat till now. And it's no mean achievement to capture the scalps of Messrs Brown and Buttler. Probably the biggest question mark was hanging over Matt Henry and many would have thought his number was up after that first over. So all credit to him for having the mental strength to come back with a splendid response. Same goes for Daryn Smit who deserves plaudits for coming up with a vital innings just at the right time. Not to be outdone his fellow countryman, Hardus, maybe not hundred percent fit, but still came up with the goods bowling an economical spell. Finally, but not least, Ben Cotton comes back in with little cricket behind him and possibly not at his fluent best and yet bowls a splendid spell conceding only twenty eight runs. Just what the doctor ordered, or should that be John Wright!

That's a really good result and puts us back in the frame to progress in this competition. Still very tight at the top of the table but Derbyshire can go into the next match with confidence knowing they can more than compete with the rest of the group.

Stuart, York

Mark said...

Matt Henry was going to get both barrels from me at nine o'clock last night, as Lancashire ripped him apart in his first over. I thought is he really an international player, it's impossible because he's bowling rubbish after rubbish. But an hour or so later I thought hmmm maybe this lad has something after all, after a brilliant last three overs. Hopefully his confidence soars now and the rest of the teams, as that was another fine all round performance. Keep it up lads. the ee r z

Opening Bat said...

The above comments really sum up last night, and credit must go to all the team, everyone contributed. I like many was frustrated by Matt Henry's first over and thought it would have been done by 15th over, especially with his poor performance in last few matches, but credit to him. The fielding was good last night, how many people would have wanted to have been under the catches that Alex Hughes took to dismiss the two destructive batsmen, the ball was up there for hours into the lights, if either of those had gone down who know what would have happened. The other pleasing thing was how we accumulated runs all the time without slogging, Reece only hit 4 maximums, lancs hit 10, another area where John Wright has stamped his mark on our thinking. I think this is the best balanced team with Ben cotton giving us 4 bowlers.

Anonymous said...

Lancs fan here.

Can't complain about being done by two of our own! There's a lot of us applauding Luis Reece - not because we don't like our old team but because we'd prefer it if he were still with us.

A good lad, and I hope he and Matt Critchley continue to thrive at Derbyshire (hope Critchley develops into the top all-rounder he could be and that your noisy neighbours at the wrong end of the A52 don't get any ideas if he does)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic performance. Well done lads. I enjoyed the commentary from the Lancs side actually very good. Credit to Henry for a great comeback. Some fantastic individual performances. Now can we string a run of results together and qualify? Fingers crossed

David Woolley said...

Brilliant from Matt Henry, but we need to remember it's only happened in this game after a few woeful performances. I recently said that I hope he turns it round. Last night was a start, but still more games upcoming where he needs to continue the form of his last three overs, and prove his international credentials to the falcons support.
I believe you had previously said PF that Lancashire supporting friends of yours were amazed that they let Luis Reece go? Please keep us updated on their thoughts now. It was a special innings from the lad which together with Daryn Smit (who I had dropped for the game) set a really difficult target.
Well done one and all. Here's hoping we can follow this victory up with another one on friday. Onwards and upwards.

Dave said...

Great team performance where some of the 'under performers ' finally got more involved to good effect.
Based on recent form, the middle order should now read 5 Smit 6 Hughes and 7 Wilson, Smit is clearly a better striker of the ball than the other two and rotates the strike when necessary with the minimum of effort .The bowlers varied their pace more last night which was the secret behind their success.If this level of performance is maintained consistently qualification for the last eight should be a formality.
Simple game this cricket when people apply themselves to the job in hand.

Jasper said...

Firstly Cotton and Critchley dragged us back into this game great to see Ben back to the form of last year. Fair play to Henry for coming back so well after that first over. Overall a great performance apart from 3 bits of sloppy ground fielding.

Anonymous said...

We have 7 games left and 5 at home, what do we think we need 4 wins? 5?
The weather looks a bit iffy tomorrow night. Think we need to beat Liecestershire twice and ideally win against Worcs and Durham. Gives us free matches against Yorks and Notts where a win would be a bonus, however, it would be much better if we just keep winning and dont have a chance to bottle the last couple of games, we need to be aiming to win the group and even failure should end up with a 1/4 final

notoveryet said...

A very encouraging performance in most respects, and, particularly with Notts' result last night, one that makes sure we stay well in the frame. One thing to bear in mind, though, is that 5 out of our last 7 matches are against the leading group, and that we have the disadvantage of only playing Durham once. The forecast doesn't look great for our next two matches either, so we'll need lots more of the quality that was shown on Tuesday.

I've often been a critic of Cotton's lack of development in 4 day cricket, but he's been a steady contributor in one-day cricket, and showed that again here. Not least, he might have given Henry and Viljoen hints on where to bowl most effectively, as both seemed to be bowling a fuller length than I've seen in other games. Like others I suspect, I thought I'd seen Henry bowl his last ball for Derbyshire after his dreadful first over, and credit to him from coming back from that. In truth, though, he bowled his second spell pretty much after the heart had gone out of Lancs chase, and even then it was fairly ordinary stuff with lots of full tosses that might have cost more against better batsmen. Particularly as Cotton has probably secured his place in the next few matches, Henry's place is still at risk if he doesn't show improvement.

Reece was a revelation, as he's mostly suggested pretty cameos up to now, and it looks as if we now have a top four each of whom have played big and fast innings, which reduces the pressure on a handful to succeed every time. A word too about Smit. I was one of those commenting on his slow scoring at the start of innings, and suggested that if he's batting at 9 he's playing effectively as a specialist wicket-keeper that we can't afford. All of his other one day innings that I've seen have been marked by a very slow start with lots of dot balls which you can afford if he's batting high enough and for long enough to go on to make a score, but not if he's batting at 9 in the closing overs. It was striking on Tuesday that he scored off every legitimate ball he received, was hitting boundaries from the start, and generally looked like a different batsman from the one we've seen so far.