Sunday, 30 July 2017

Derbyshire v Leicestershire T20

Leicestershire 104-9 (Ackermann 24, Henry 3-18, Tahir 2-20)

Derbyshire 107-3 (Madsen 49 not, Hughes 36 not)

Derbyshire won by seven wickets

Well, that was a hammering.

They are words I have written a time or two, but rarely, in T20 cricket, when we were on the right side of the result.

It is nigh impossible to fault a bowling display where no one went for more than 23 in their four overs. Matt Henry's first ball of the game went for four, but he came back to bowl wonderfully and take 3-18 in his four. Similarly, Imran Tahir's first over went for nine, but his last three went for only eleven. It was most impressive, even if it was a good toss to win, after yesterday's rain.

Hardus Viljoen was tight and got the key early wicket of Luke Ronchi. So was Wayne Madsen, as was Ben Cotton. Adding Ben to the side has given us the 'other' four overs we were lacking in earlier matches, while Wayne's bowling in this competition has been sensational. As a long-time advocate of him bowling more, I am delighted to see his success as a very steady, surprise element of the Derbyshire attack.

There was one leg bye conceded in 20 overs, the only extra. I like to see that and the fielding level, from messages I received, was high. Once again that standard was set by Daryn Smit, who has had an excellent competition behind the timbers and picked up another to add to his growing collection of stumpings. 

At half way it was hard to see how we could lose, but those of us who have followed Derbyshire for a while (I think my half century of watching allows me membership of that club..) have seen us lose improbably over the years.

At 21-3, with Matt Critchley also off after a blow on the helmet, we were rocking. Yet  I could think of no more calming scenario for the minds of home supporters than Wayne Madsen and Alex Hughes at the crease, with Daryn Smit due next if required.

Wayne is simply one of the all-time greats, a player you will tell your grand-children you saw bat for Derbyshire, while Alex, as I have said before, is a man for a crisis.

They saw that we quickly got above parity in Duckworth-Lewis, then professionally and sensibly took the bowling apart, easing us to victory with over six overs in hand. That margin has had a positive impact on our net run rate and may have even greater effect by the end of the group stage.

We have all seen Derbyshire capitulate pitifully in this competition over the years. The professionalism of this win was a joy to follow and it is patently obvious that the fairy dust that John  Wright and Dominic Cork are sprinkling on our T20 cricket is the real deal. However this ends, this has been the season we started to play proper T20 cricket, with a game plan, as well as back ups if required. Let's not forget Kim Barnett either, who had the contacts and the nous to bring the two of them in

Last week, on Sky, Paul Allott came out with the extraordinary comment that Yorkshire are 'dominating' the northern group. Not so much tonight, after Nottinghamshire chased down a target of 224 to beat them at Trent Bridge. Meanwhile, rejuvenated Warwickshire beat Lancashire and, with Northamptonshire not playing, we eased up to second place in the group.


Yorkshire v Derbyshire at Headingley on Thursday night should be a bit special...


Tim, Chesterfield said...

Suffice to say anything Paul Allot has to say about anything that doesn't involve Lancashire of the 70s and 80s can be easily ignored.

Just got in. My first visit to watch cricket at Derby since the day we got promoted I think. Quite a lot has changed in that time. Anyway, Leicestershire's batting was beyond limp but credit to our bowlers who did the basics very well and had an absolute grip on the innings throughout.

I expected us to win at a canter and in the end we did though I can't deny that I was more than slightly concerned at 21/3 and with Critchley retired hurt. Klein looked a decent bowler but the rest were absolute fodder and Hughes and Madsen made it look as easy as it should have been.

Not necessarily the sort of T20 win you would choose for entertainment purposes but Derbyshire fans fans won't grumble at that.

Jasper said...

Excellent effort. Our fielding today was outstanding and one stop from hughes was almost breathtaking, saved what seemed a certain boundary. What more can we possibly say about wayne...

Anonymous said...

Just gets better and better.  After a professional performance against Lancashire we surpass that with a sublime effort against neighbours Leicestershire. To win by seven wickets with more than six overs remaining is some achievement. Obviously, it was another toss not to lose and all the bowlers did the business.  When did we last use just five bowlers and each concede so few? Ben Cotton was a tad expensive LOL! And what a difference he has made to the side. That's two excellent performances after being in the 'wilderness' for a while. Equally hats off to Matt Henry when most of us were calling for his head. A great 'comeback' all is forgiven! And as PF picked up on, just one extra and that a leg bye. Games are won and lost in the field and that again is an impressive effort by all. And three more catches by Alex Hughes just shows what an important member of the team he is these days. Good to see him amongst the runs with a fine partnership with Wayne Madsen. 'Mads' is having a great influence on results with bat, ball and in the field. What a wonderful cricketer.

Interesting that the team's fortunes have improved somewhat with the inclusion of another out and out bowler.  I think we were beginning to struggle juggling with that 'fifth' bowler prior to Cotton's selection.

Just hope that Matt Critchley makes a quick recovery after that unfortunate blow to the helmet as he is a vital member of the side.

Can't quite believe at this stage we are second in the table on merit with five wins under the belt.  John Wright & Co have achieved much in a relatively short time in getting this group of players believing in themselves.

Onwards and upwards!

Stuart, York

Nic H said...

Got back a couple of hours ago. Never felt more relaxed watching Derbyshire in my life. The fielding stood out a mile. Energetic and sharp. Theirs by contrast pedestrian and cumbersome. Looking at their innings the wicket seemed unpredictable and not coming off the bat well. They never got going and as soon as they tried to hammer a boundary or two it just was miss hit into the air. Slight wobble at the beginning with a couple of early loses and retirement but from about 5 overs in it was never in doubt. Win one of Notts or Yorkshire and my money says get ready for a quarter final appearance :)

justmissin'leg said...

A really good toss to win, given the forecast was for heavy rain to later on in the afternoon.
Though a thinner crowd than I was expecting to see, perhaps due to the changeable weather that's been about all week.

They never got going. We just didn't let 'em.
Great bowling from everyone today. Terrific fielding, both in the circle and in the deep - really clever fields being set. Sharp reflexes to run out Cosgrove and, from then on, their running between the wickets was cautious.

As rightly mentioned, we're holding all our catches! Gotta mention Alex Hughes, who took three. One, Pillans (I think), Alex made good ground to and, though he didn't pouch it at the first attempt, nor the second, he had sufficient composure not to snatch for the rebound - which is often a common way to spill when juggling.

I got the impression today's wicket was a fair bit slower than the Lancs game. Since he didn't bowl, just wondered if this might've been why young Critchley mistimed his hook shot. Needless to say, hope he's OK.

Set a target of less than run a ball, and following a stoppage due to a shower, we did wobble. Wayne, as our host rightly champions, brought a steady reassurance to proceedings and together with Alex, they produced functional cricket to secure a wonderful victory that will rightly raise confidence.

We're in danger of looking like a really decent team.

Two tough matches follow, and any points from either of those would bolster our chances tremendously.

Good call, Peakfan; this is the season in which Derbyshire finally got the knack of T20 cricket.

Steve H said...

Smit is a good keeper, that I don't doubt, and probably the best we presently have. Indeed some of his legside work standing up has been quite brilliant.

However for you PF to fall head over heels and eulogise about a stumping that ( I kid you not) three quarters of members could take now, even allowing for advanced years and waistlines. The batsman was undone by a slower ball, gave it the charge, and Smit ( seeing the ball all the way) took a very very routine stumping.

" The standard set"? Smit did not have to be anything but capable tonight, and praise should be given only if earnt.


Peakfan said...

Not sure if your definition of 'eulogise' is different to mine, Steve.
I merely stated that Smit added to his collection of stumpings.
A statement of fact, not eulogy.
Not a mention of it being anything other than routine to a top keeper...

David Woolley said...

Great win PF. You can only beat what's put in front of you, and we destroyed them. Admittedly it was a good toss to win, but yet again our bowlers turned up, and did the business.
Yorkies and Notts up next, I would take one win from the two games if offered it now. However, with the spirit in our camp at the minute, we could actually win both of them.
It looks like our 'friend' Mr Allott is taking up a position with his beloved Lancashire, so thankfully no more of his inane drivel to listen to.
Onward and upwards.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

As mentioned I was also expecting there to be more people there. Can't have been many more than 1500 or so? Difficult to tell. If there weather's decent on Friday I'm fully expecting as big a crowd at Derby as there's been in recent years.

The team deserve it, so get your friends and family down.

Anonymous said...

Don't despair - Allott is due to leave Sky to become Director of Cricket at Lancashire. We'll finally be rid of him!

Stephen, Yorkshire.

Anonymous said...

John From derby here PF. Very professional performance against our local rivals and well deserved. Only fly in the ointment is Critchleys head blow. My understanding of this years ECB concussion protocol is that if you leave the field with a head injury your out for a week minimum! Hope I'm wrong about that but don't think I am.
My need a batting order rejig.

Graham said...

If John from Derby is right (see above) then surely the simplest - & most effective - rejig would be Wood in for Critch? I know that'd lose us a bowling option but one that has only been utilised sparingly and is seemingly less of an issue since Cotton's inclusion has bolstered our bowling.