Thursday, 27 July 2017

Derbyshire v Northamptonshire T20 preview

We've won games batting first and we've won them batting second. We've won when we have won the toss and we've won when we lost it. We have beaten the group leaders and the reigning champions. We've even beaten Lanky-Lanky-Lanky-Lancashire.

Can Derbyshire now beat Northamptonshire for a second time in the competition?

If they can, then the signs for the rest of the competition will be very positive. To answer Mark's question from earlier, I think eight wins will see us to the knock-out, especially if we keep our run rate in a decent position. It is a shame that we only play Durham once, because they are a very average side this year, but there are definitely four wins possible in our remaining seven games.

Yes, we can still improve on areas of our game. We can improve on the fielding, we can bowl tighter lines and lengths; we can make even better use of every ball when we bat. Yet it is undeniable that the side has produced some high quality cricket this summer in the competition, better than the tournament has seen for a long time, possibly ever.

The top four are all good for runs, while Gary Wilson and Alex Hughes are excellent for later impetus. I agree with notoveryet that Daryn Smit may become our best bet for seven, giving him time to rescue and nurse an innings when required, or simply give it sensible slap, as he did on Monday, when time is running out.

His knock was a mini-masterpiece of T20 finishing. Use EVERY ball, run hard and turn ones into twos, punish the bad balls and don't let the bowlers settle. It was an innings borne of experience and was of immense value. Along with his exemplary wicket-keeping, it makes him a key component of the side.

A word too about Gary Wilson. He hasn't, perhaps, made the runs he might have wanted in the competition, but with the top four firing, he has really only had to come in to ease us over the line or push things along. His captaincy, however has been impressive, what has especially impressed me being his use of the bowlers.

I don't like captaincy by rote, or by the coaching book. Time was when bowlers had two overs spells and then off and there were times when you could pretty much call the bowling change yourself, before it happened. Two overs are now the exception, rather than the rule and there is no pattern to the sequence, nor to the bowlers. Reece has bowled, but not always. So has Critchley. Madsen has opened, but not always. Tahir has bowled in the Powerplay, and when it has finished. It keeps the crowd guessing and the opposition too. I suspect that he will enjoy the extra bowling specialist that Ben Cotton gives him, the latter adding to a trio of late order seam bowling 'biffers' if needed. There will be times when someone who can clear the ropes at the death will decide the match...

I expect an unchanged side tomorrow, weather permitting, against a Northamptonshire side that is strengthened by a return to form and fitness of Richard Levi. Their top five is talented and dangerous, their seam attack potent, even if the spin option is negligible. Josh Cobb was missing tonight, as they eased past Worcestershire, but such is his record against us that he would fancy a bat from a bath chair, giving them additional batting power and a spin option.

The weather forecast suggests a truncated game and whoever wins the toss will doubtless fancy batting second. Unless, of course, we outflank them and produce a slower, spinners wicket.

I hope that the weather allows a game and that we can show the form that a large crowd enjoyed on Monday.

Most of them went home with a smile on their faces, after a cracking game and a home win.

More of the same tomorrow would do just dandy.

8 comments:

Tim, Chesterfield said...

I think you are being overly referring to Durham as average at this format....

Tim, Chesterfield said...

*kind

IanC said...

Unfortunately the latest forecast suggests heavy and persistent rain rolling in by about 18:30,so looks like a 1 ptr tonight

Nic H said...

Ha I was thinking that!

Peakfan said...

I am very diplomatic when it suits...we aint played them yet!

Tim, Chesterfield said...

Oh yes, we're well capable of losing to them! Shame about tonight as it was pretty dry this morning in Chesterfield and the early forecast I saw for Derby suggested heavy rain was far from a certainty.

It's going to cost me now as instead of a beer-less drive with free tickets I'm heading down my local instead.....

Peakfan said...

Looks as though it may well be just the one point tonight.  Only consolation is that others in the Northern group look like suffering the same fate.  Leicestershire will probably be the most disappointed with hosting Durham who have struggled in this competition so far.

Just hope the weather is more favourable on Sunday.

Stuart, York

Anonymous said...

Oh well, what do l know about weather forecasts and the capabilities of the Durham Xl? Not a lot apparently but Durham certainly did us a favour and the group remains wide open.

Sadly, we may suffer from the vagaries of the weather on Sunday but hopefully not.

Stuart, York