Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Worcestershire v Derbyshire T20

Worcestershire 186-5 (Madsen 2-20)

Derbyshire 189-3 (18.2 overs, Godleman 70, Madsen 58 not, Critchley 31)

Derbyshire won by seven wickets

I'll admit, from the start, that Billy Godleman played the sort of knock that I didn't think he had in him tonight.

I respect him massively, but the statistic on Sky TV tonight, that showed it as his first T20 fifty since 2009, tells a story. Yet it also tells the success of Derbyshire's coach, John Wright, who has, as Billy said afterwards, taken the pressure off the batsmen and told them to go and play their normal game.

Back in 1970, I recall watching David Smith, a gritty Yorkshire left-hander for us, hammer Derek Shackleton, then one of the county game's most economical and successful bowlers, to all parts, during a Sunday afternoon fixture against Hampshire. I never saw him play another innings similar, so Billy's challenge now is to use this as his launch pad.

Today he batted superbly and the ring of the ball from his bat was a pleasure, as was the range of his shots. Once again, he was admirably partnered by Matt Critchley, whose clean hitting helped to get us off to the flyer we needed when chasing over nine an over. When the partnership ended, at 64 after five stunning overs, we had a platform to win the game.

Billy, partnered by the sublime Wayne Madsen, made sure that it was a walk in the park. I have seen Wayne bat many times, but don't think I have seen him in better nick than tonight. He should have been caught, without doubt, but his sweeping and switch-hits were magnificent and I haven't seen a more aesthetically-pleasing innings this summer. He really is a joy to watch.

In their contrasting styles they steered us to the edge of victory, before Billy took a huge swing at Mitchell Santner and was stumped, leaving Gary Wilson to ease us across the line with a typically bucolic cameo.

It was a breathtaking, brilliant run chase, professional and heart-warming for supporters used to years of failure. Maybe this could be the year we make the knockouts. Maybe that other, special day, but there's way too much cricket to get ahead of ourselves.

The bowling? A mixed bag. Madsen, again, was excellent and a shoo-in for man of the match with two wickets. So too Imran Tahir, who seemed unplayable until Ross Whiteley chanced his arm in his final over. It was brave to open with Luis Reece's slow left arm, yet kind of worked after an awful first over. I didn't think Matt Henry bowled badly at all tonight, but his figures suffered from a last over slog. He bowled some good balls though and it was good to see improved form.

Poor bowler tonight? Hardus Viljoen for me, who seemed to lack rhythm and direction. He did get the key wicket of Joe Clarke, who looked set for 150 the way he was batting, but it was with a fast full toss that hardly qualified as a good ball in school cricket.

Yet again, we came out on the right side. The ground fielding was sound and I was hugely impressed by Calum Brodrick, who was like a whippet in the deep, quick to the ball, brave and brilliant in his stops and sure with his throwing. It reinforced my opinion of his talent when I saw him at Belper and he is another young man to watch.

Three out of four. If we can string together both disciplines on an evening, we will really be special, but a third of the way through the competition, we are in a good position, ahead of a trip to Nottingham, which will be tough.

Full credit to Messrs Wright, Barnett, Cork and Stubbings. They are making a very good fist of this at present.

One final comment. Does Paul Allott of Sky watch any cricket, or follow the game? His surprise at Wayne Madsen opening the bowling couldn't have been greater had Wayne done so in a tutu. Likewise the commentators being surprised at our wanting to finish it quickly suggested they were oblivious to the niceties of net run rate, which could change fourth into fifth and vice versa at the end of the group stage.

Corky was entertaining and informative as ever, but I do hope he learns how to pronounce 'Madsen' sometime soon.

Just the one 'd', Dominic, thank you.

Still, I'll forgive that tonight.

Proper win, that one.


Ash said...

Brilliant chase full stop, Billy and Matt set the platform, bowling was hit and miss for me, and Im convinced HV is injured still, it wouldn't surprise me if we dont see him for a while

Anonymous said...

It seems that cricket is now sometimes, like football, "a game of two halves"! We batted brilliantly,but our bowling was generally atrocious, and we were fortunate that the opposition's was no better, if worse.

What frustrates me is that we CAN bowl tightly if we put our minds to it. (cf Trent Bridge on 2nd June, and even Henry bowled ONE good, tight over tonight)
So why don't we do it more often? Any dreams of success will never come true if this is not dealt with - and soon!


Mark said...

Mads, motm Peakfan by far. The only bowler to offer anything and another fine innings, we'd be lost without him. I thought our bowling was shocking tonight except for Madsen, Henry yet again getting punished big time. We can't afford to bowl like that against the big scoring sides or they'd have got 250 quite easily tonight. Never worried though when Billy and Critchley started the innings off setting off like a train, I knew we'd win then. Fine batting performance Derbyshire, keep it up please.

David Woolley said...

Cracking win tonight Peakfan.
I am not one to start slagging off the bowlers for being taken for 180 on a belting track. Batsmen will always be looking to hit big, and from their point of view, our final five overs, made their score a lot better than it first looked.
There is no doubt in my mind that JW has a happy and talented buch to work with this season.
As for Mr Allott, he constantly says stupid things on SKY, which I feel are down to his ignorance of the so called smaller counties.

Graham said...

Delighted to watch that sumptuous run chase this evening. I'm with you too, Peakfan, regarding Allott. He advised us tonight that Whiteley left Derbyshire for Worcestershire, and I quote: "last year". He's overstayed his welcome on Sky Sports when pontificating on any subject but Lancashire!

Ciaran said...

Great win and I wholly agree about Allott. The lack of research is really pretty poor and it's not as if he compensates with charisma...
Anyway, the top five looks to have substance, imagination and explosiveness - everything you need in T-20. I hope they haven't given up on Critchley as a bowler, as I think he offers more as a spinner than Reece. Looking forward to Notts.

daisypod said...

madsen & godleman were simply outstanding..tbf critchley also played his part.hes developing into a very promising player indeed. this T20 side under mr wright/ wilson are really looking the biz!,
ps whats happening with young harvey hosein nowadays.
isnt he ready for a step up
sometime soon?. just saying..

Anonymous said...

An excellent batting performance after a somewhat below par effort at Old Trafford.

Really pleased that Matt Critchley has found himself a niche position in the side. No doubt his ton against Durham has given him much confidence. And like you Peak Fan, l didn't think Billy had that twenty over knock in him! Hats off to you BG. And as for Wayne Madsen, well he just keeps on producing high quality cricket with bat and ball. What an outstanding professional.

The bowling appeared a little bit hit and miss but then it was a good track and we kept them to a score that was attainable.  Still have concerns about the 'fifth' bowler.

Great to see that another youngster, Calum Brodrick, been given a chance. Too often in the past young cricketers have not been given an opportunity early on to establish themselves. Another brave decision.

Overall an excellent start to this competition and interesting to see what John Wright has achieved with this group of players. Wonder if he could work his magic on the longer version of the game?

Stuart, York

Oliver said...

Great win. At the interval I feared we would fall some way short, but we made it look remarkably easy in the end. Our bowling also looked better after we'd seen their attack taken apart by our opening pair. Having chased down 180 comfortably, and 186 very comfortably, sides will no doubt feel they have to set a very good score if batting first against us. Hopefully that pressure will help our bowlers a little.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

What struck me was how few plays and misses and edge there were when we batted. Worcestershire seemed to get a few streaky edges to the boundary whereas we hit almost everything where we wanted it.

Plenty to work on still in the field but very promising and that was as a good a chase in T20 that you'll see anywhere.

daisypod said...
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