Friday, 7 July 2017

Northamptonshire v Derbyshire T20

Northamptonshire 179-6 (Duckett 69, Viljoen 3-28)

Derbyshire 180-3 (Reece 75 not, Madsen 37, Wilson 28 not)

Derbyshire won by seven wickets


If John Wright and Gary Wilson had sat down and scripted tonight's game, they could scarcely have done it better.

Playing the champions, a team adept at chasing, you want to win the toss and get them to set one. We did that, then bowled sensibly and well. The tactic of Wayne Madsen taking an end in the Power play was effective and the early wicket was handy.

I'm not too bothered about Matt Henry going for ten an over, because, as Nasser Hussain said in the recent series between England and South Africa, it is now the standard for a bowler turning his arm at either end of the innings. He got the key wicket of Ben Duckett and the early run out of Rossington so played his part.

The middle overs were handled well by Imran Tahir, with Alex Hughes and Matt Critchley in support, but the stand out bowler of the night was Hardus Viljoen. Splitting his overs throughout the innings, Viljoen showed what we have missed all summer with a quality display of fast bowling. The wickets of Cobb and Wakeley in successive balls slowed the home advance and a final target of 180 seemed at least possible.

Of course, we have chased such totals many times and failed, but tonight was handled with an elan and calm that has not always been the Derbyshire way. We were never far behind the rate, although I remain to be convinced about the opening pairing. Tonight it didn't matter, because after Billy Godleman's cameo at the start, Luis Reece marshaled the rest of the innings with great skill, making an unbeaten 75 from 51 deliveries.

It was no real surprise, because regular readers will recall my reporting on his ability when he was signed. An innings against us last year, where he outscored Alviro Petersen, confirmed a talent to me and it was realised again tonight. If one of your top three bats through the innings, the likelihood is that you will win a fair number of these games and Luis played a blinder to ensure that we did.

The partnership of Reece and Wayne Madsen swung the game our way, 64 runs in just over six overs, but when the latter was dismissed, we still needed 47 from just over five overs.

We got them in 26 balls, with the skipper coming in and bludgeoning an unbeaten 28 from just fifteen deliveries. Doing exactly what you want your experienced men to do, in fact, when the game gets down to the nitty gritty. With plenty of batting in hand, the win was completed in style.

Credit all round, not forgetting Dominic Cork, who has been working with the bowlers in the lead up to this competition. If one was to be critical, there were too many dot balls at the start of our innings and we cannot afford that if chasing nearer 200. However, the bowling was steady and controlled, with only nine extras conceded and we are away to a fine start.

One swallow doesn't make a summer, of course and we can only hope that Viljoen, a key component of the attack, has come through the game unscathed. If we can keep this eleven on the pitch there will be more wins, but Yorkshire tomorrow will be a tough task, especially after they hammered Nottinghamshire tonight.

We'll see though. There are plenty of reasons to be cheerful this evening and the skipper and his side will enjoy the journey home.

Well done lads.

Now see if we can sustain that against the Yorkies.


Anonymous said...

Listened to the bias Northants commentary which was painful. What a great chase. To be fair to the lads they were very complimentary about us and said we deserved it. Madsen sounded like he played the spinners well. Reece was aggressive. Some decent cameos from godleman (who I am shocked has been picked but fair play, plus sounded like he took a great catch too) and wilson who did what he likes to do, ie get on with it. I was surprised we didn't go with another front line bowler but it worked well so credit to the coach and captain. Making 8 overs up off the part timers seemed a big ask but we managed it ok. Thought reece might have got a bowl for an over. If Thakor comes back soon then I would drop Slater or Godleman depending on form and then open with Reece with Thakor at 3 plus we get his bowling skills and only theoretically need 4 overs from the part timers. But for tomorrow same side. We go again. Good luck lads.

justmissin'leg said...

As ever, a concise report and analysis of the key points, Peakfan.
I followed the match intermittently via cricinfo, and, being a pessimist, feared they'd run up nearer to two hundred (given they were 130ish after 15).

I loosely monitored our response; 60 for 1 off seven(?), and felt we had built a base sound enough to have a go.
Am delighted to return from the pub to see the scorecard.

There seems to be a pleasing balance of skill set to this eleven. Or maybe it's the format that yields a better harvest. I like it. Ok, today, as you noted, maybe not quite the right opening pair and also maintaining a fit fast bowling attack duo is crucial.

I spy Yorkies outgunned the Outlaws. Strewth, one of their strike rates was 300.

Am at the match tomorrow, and looking forward to the contest and challenge we face. We have a team that could surprise.

Hope we do.

Peakfan said...

Well l am gobsmacked by that win over a strong and successful side in this competition.  The Wright magic has worked quicker than l expected.  A very professional run chase in not losing too many early wickets and l was a little surprised to see Billy in the side with due respect to him.

While the T20 is not my cup of tea, l take my hat off to them for getting off to such a tremendous start against a firm favourite in this format.  I thought they might have been a little deflated after the Durham loss despite producing some excellent cricket with a depleted team.

We have obviously missed a strike bowler of Viljoen's calibre and l hope he can remain fit and continue to produce performances like that in this competition.  To keep Duckett & Co to a total under 180 is quite an achievement.

Hope we can replicate this type of performance tomorrow in front of a full house.

Stuart, York

Opening Bat said...

Like Mark M, I listened to the radio nothants commentary as the radio Derby one just cut off, obviously they were a little biased and believed 179 was enough. Whilst they were surprised with our reply, they were very impressed with Reece and Madsen and were gracious in defeat. A great win, and what was impressive about our reply was that we kept the momentum going, even when we lost a wicket, never reaching 10 an over. It would be nice to restrict the opposition to 160's but to get a balanced team we need to weedle 8 overs from the part timers. Well done to everyone, picked off the champions, now on to the next challenge and fireworks today at sunny Chesterfield.

Peakfan said...

Good comments gents and those 'part-time' overs will be key as we move forward. Often we make a decent start and the key is sustaining that

Peakfan said...

Today will be a huge test. No disgrace in losing but a good benchmark for us...

Anonymous said...

Opening bat. Spot on they did think 179 was enough. But we showed them. Well done boys. Viljeon back is a big bonus let's hope he stays fit as Peakfan said. Much as we don't have that explosive proven batsmen at the top of the order we do bat a long way down. Assuming Smit can find some form we have a lot of batting there down to 8 with 2 good biffers to in Henry and Viljeon so theoretically we can keep going all he way down to 10 when we need to. Clearly we need someone at the top to build around. This time it was Reece. Critchley I think can be destructive in this format and I hope to see him carry on his form from red ball cricket into white ball. Go well today lads

notoveryet said...

We need to keep things in perspective of course (bearing in mind that we've often flattered to deceive in the early matches) but this was an outstanding win. From the commentary, it sounded as if some of our early bowling was untidy, and well though Viljoen came back, it seemed to be with Hughes' introduction to the attack that the momentum of the Northants' innings began to falter, and we never really looked back from that point.

I've been puzzled by the amount of negativity about Godleman opening. I've never been a great fan of the big-hitting opener - a handful of sides carry it off with exceptional players but most fail trying to replicate it with ordinary players. Godleman is one of the most powerful hitters of the ball in the Derbyshire squad, and has shown the ability to score quickly when he's given or takes licence in both RLODC and championship. He scored at a very respectable 138 tonight, stabilised the innings after the early loss of Slater and helped to get us close to 60 off the first 6 overs. I'm not sure what more you'd ask of your opener. Slater's a bit of a concern as he seems to be struggling for scores in all forms of cricket at the moment, but he's shown in the RLODC what he's capable of. I've had my reservations about Reece but this sounded like a beautifully-measured innings. The Northants commentators were effusive about Derbyshire's running, and this sounds like a clear plan. It's always seemed to me that a side that scores ones and twos off most balls plus a boundary in most overs is going to win more often than not, and is a much more sensible approach for a side like Derbyshire that doesn't have much in the way of power-hitting. It'll be interesting to see if it works again today at Chesterfield, but if we can beat Yorkshire as well, we might begin to see ourselves as real contenders. bearing in mind of course that we've made equally good starts in recent yearas, only for it all to come crashing down.

Nic H said...

A very good report peak fan and there is a good sense of perspective amongst the comments as whilst we are delighted with the result, we have been here many tunes before and finished bottom of the group. Onto the next game then!

daisypod said...

pretty much echoed my own thoughts!, if bens form is still slipping..what about tom wood?
or critchley to open with BG?

Peakfan said...

Wood was injured in a second team game or I think he might have been in the frame. Critchley was one I suggested too. Left field but possibly successful...