Friday, 21 July 2017

Nottinghamshire v Derbyshire T20

Nottinghamshire 227-3 (Wessels 110, Taylor 67 not, Madsen 2-32)

Derbyshire 222-5 (Madsen 86 not, Godleman 43 not)

Nottinghamshire won by 5 runs

You can forget the city-based competition, because there will be nothing remotely close to the excitement on a night when two East Midlands rivals slugged it out under the Trent Bridge floodlights.

Yes, in the end the home side prevailed, narrowly, when we couldn't get a six off the game's final ball to tie it. Be honest, how many of you had any idea we would get within a hair's breadth of a total of that magnitude?

There may well be criticisms of the bowlers tonight, but sometimes you need to credit batsmen who play a blinder, albeit with the aid of a boundary that was a tad on the short side. Riki Wessels is a perennial thorn in our side, and even when Wayne Madsen took the wickets of Hales and Patel, the danger of Wessels and Brendan Taylor was obvious. They hit us around the park, as we later did to their bowlers.

Madsen was the best by a distance, as he was later the best batsman. He is having a quite astonishing tournament and is in the form of his life, after a sketchy four-day season so far. The rest went for ten an over-plus, but if you combine big bats and short boundaries, something has to give. I had messages about poor fielding and Wessels was dropped, but this happens in any form of cricket. The side that fields the best often just shades it, but we came so close.

Critchley and Godleman again went off like a train, Reece ticked over steadily and then came Madsen. An unbeaten 86 from just 44 balls as we stayed in the game to the very end, with support from Gary Wilson and then Alex Hughes.

In the end it was...just...too much. But on a night when over fourteen thousand filled Trent Bridge, county cricket was the winner. Why do we need to introduce a 'better' competition, which will have all the competitive edge of Ethel and Mary knitting sweaters at the WRI? I am still firmly of the opinion - and hope - that it dies on its backside.

It was a magnificent game to follow, in my case on Twitter and Cricinfo, and a huge credit to both sides.

Where does it leave us? Still, I think, in a very strong position. If we can chase and not be fazed by a total of that size, other counties will be worried about what we might do. If the fielding and bowling can hold their own, the batting appears to be going from strength to strength.

In any other season, if you had told me the opposition had made 220, I would have backed us to fall a hundred short.

This year? We are a team of constant surprises.

Perhaps the best is yet to come.

Postscript - shameful piece on the BBC cricket site about Callum Brodrick's dropped catch at Worcester the other night. It was labelled 'an easy catch', which anyone who has ever played the game knows they never are.

When the eyes of everyone are on you and the ball is coming down from a great height, it is never easy. Some may make it seem so, but factor in a big crowd, a lad making his county debut and the television cameras and the complexity increases.

Whoever was responsible should be ashamed, as should whichever hack editor thought it a good idea.

They got their come-uppance on Twitter today, that's for sure.

And rightly so.


IanC said...

Unbelievable effort .

At half way,i didn't think we would have a chance till i remembered that there had been some very high scoring Royal London cup matches there this season.

No criticism of the bowlers from me or the occasional dropped catch. As you say,a good batting track with a short boundary more the reason.

Just reinforces to me the little things that you can control,and we can and should aim to improve on ie wides and no balls. Reduce them to the absolute minimum,and that was the difference between the sides.

All in all,a fantastic effort,and we have a real team there this season

Anonymous said...

Well for the neutral that must have been a great match to watch. And even for a diehard Derbyshire fan there was much to appreciate in the run chase. To end up six short is frustrating but it was nevertheless a very brave attempt.

I wasn't at the match so am only reading between the lines and turning to statistics that don't always tell the true story.  However, we are definitely short of a genuine fourth/fifth bowler especially when our main bowlers such as Tahir and Henry are put to the sword. To be fair to them, Jake Ball conceded just as many as Imran.  But if any one of our bowlers had been as economical as Wayne Madsen then the result could have been different.

Sadly, Matt Critchley's bowling seems to have gone backwards although he is, obviously, worth his place for his batting.  Maybe we need to turn to someone like Ben Cotton in place of one of the 'bits and pieces' players.

Wayne Madsen just gets better and better and he certainly didn't deserve to end up on the losing side. Undefeated on eighty six and off just forty four balls is a fine achievement. And Billy, once again, proves many of us wrong in believing that he can't perform in T20.

John Wright has done a brilliant job instilling confidence in the batsman but think we are short of a quality bowler to augment the present attack.

Stuart, York

Roger said...

Incredible effort tonight in which most of the batsman contributed to nearly pulling off a miracle. Madsen was incredible and I like the balls he showed in wanting to be the man to face the last delivery.

I have to say the fielding was disappointing and ultimately cost us (although the afterwards would always be different). The drop by Godleman from Wessels at professional standard was an absolute dolly. If he had gone, their total would probably have been 10 less. Then a poor mistake from Broderick on the boundary over running a ball cost three, a misfield on a free hit cost a run and on another day, some of the harder opportunities on the boundary would have been stopped. All in, a better fielding team for me would have taken their score down by 15 runs. The bowling was obviously erratic at times which didn't help.

Would also like to see us run between the wickets harder, especially on the first run. Couple of chances not taken for me to get the second because they were too slow originally.

Final point, I'm not too sure what Broderick is bringing to the team? Obviously not seen as a pinch hitter capable of scoring a quick 15-20 from 7-10 balls otherwise he'd have been in earlier. Obviously we would have liked Thakor in and I'm sure that's who he would be in for, but if he doesn't bowl and doesn't bat, surely we must have other options in the team? McDonnell or even Husein could maybe contribute?

Still, left the ground gutted tonight. Wasn't thinking like that half way through.

Mark said...

Very poor when your best bowler for the second game running is our main batsman. Our bowling is quite frankly shocking, Viljoen, Henry and Tahir should be ashamed of their poor efforts. We'll get nowhere with this attack, very poor.

Peakfan said...

Kind of ignores that theirs must have been too Mark and gives no credit to batsmen. Nor a boundary that under 16s might have fancied...

Opening Bat said...

Wow, not sure what to think of all that, rolling emotions over 3 hours. Hales out early, then 6&4's everywhere, little hope at half time, then hope, and then falling just short. One thing we have said about the falcons over the 'poor' years was that they were a good fielding side so a little disappointing that has gone backwards, but hey, we have improved significantly in the batting. Matt Henry seems to go round the park regularly so some improvement required there. But at beginning of the season would we have been happy to be challenging, I think we would all agree, yes. If we can tighten up a couple of things, dare we think???

David Woolley said...

Cracking match Peakfan, just came up a bit short.
I think it's a bit unfair to pick on the bowlers, as 449-8 suggests a good track surrounded by some small boundaries. having said that, it might be time to try someone else, so possibly Cotton or Taylor to come in on Sunday. What do I know, it's only two matches ago I was advocating dropping Billy !!!!
As we did after the Lancashire defeat, we now need to bounce back. But make no mistake, we are where we are on merit. Let's hope it continues.

Ash said...

Truly brilliant effort, we all know in previous years we would have been knocked over for 120 and been on here slating the players. It can only be down to John Wright and the senior pros attitude. I have read previously that when JW took India he transformed the way they thought about the game and their mindset, looks like his sprinkled some magic here too.

Peakfan said...

The assumption is that his speed in the field and usual sure handedness is worth 10 runs or so. Also that there is no bowler outside the side who would enhance options in it.
Wood may be more dynamic as a bat than Reece but he has hardly failed and otherwise he wouldn't have batted last night anyway.

Jasper said...

Unfortunately billy dropping wessels was key such fine margins in t20. Great effort in the chase tho. As i have said previously wayne madsen = legend. Such a shame that the only thing we missing really is a guy called shiv thakor...

Anonymous said...

Great effort that from Derbyshire, they are becoming a proper team in this tournament.

Changing the subject slightly if I may, I spent the evening watching Surrey V Middlesex on Sky:

Warne, Keys and Flintoff:

I pay a lot of money for my sky sports package and love my cricket.

I do not want to hear a boys club of banter and micky taking, such that you might hear in the pub, from Warne, Keys and Flintoff. I heard more about Warne's round of golf with Keys this evening than I did about the cricket. Flintoff behaves like he's back in the dressing room forever looking for self gratifying laughs ad nauseam.

They are dumbing down their production considerably having these three on together to an extent that I won't bother watching when they are.

Am I simply getting old and miserable or does anyone else fee the same?


Peakfan said...

I feel the same Bob. If I want comedy I have favourite comedians. They are not among them and their playground mentality ruins it for me too. I rarely listen to any commentary now as little of it enhances my viewing. I learned much from Arlott, Laker and Benaud. Little from any of those subsequently on TV or radio.
Honourable mention for Dominic Cork, who talks more sense than most, but often becomes the butt of jokes from the pre-school.
To those you name I would add Mark Butcher, whose laughter the other night when a steward was hit on the head was crass, in a week when Luke Fletcher got a career-threatening injury.

IanC said...

Agree that its unfair to slate the bowlers on a pitch like that. If our current top batsman thinks that he thought our bowlers bowled pretty well on that pitch,then i accept that.

Similarly ,criticism that we are a recognised bowler short fails to stand up to scrutiny when our best bowler (WM) is a part time one at best,and our best (IT) went for 13's and was wicketless.

Batting has just moved on apace,and no doubt true tracks for higher scoring has been encouraged. WM has been a revelation in T20 this season,but its only as a result of long hours in practice trying to master new and unconventional ways of scoring and scoring quickly which makes setting a field almost impossible.

Hopefully for our block of home games we manage to prepare pitches that (if possible) are as conducive to the make up of our bowling attack as is possible.

Make no mistake,we may still lose some games but by heck we are now very competitive in every game