Thursday, 10 August 2017

Derbyshire v Nottinghamshire day 4

Derbyshire 220 and 227 (Godleman 47, Slater 44)

Nottinghamshire 508-9

Nottinghamshire win by an innings and 61 runs

A visit from my god friend and best man when Mrs P and I got married 31 years ago prevented any blogging last night. Iain now lives in New York and we see him twice a year on average, so a visit in our anniversary week was both timely and enjoyed.

It also gave me an evening to reflect on Derbyshire's performance, before putting my thoughts down.

Having done so, they can be encapsulated in one word.


I know Nottinghamshire are a good side, we ran into Alex Hales in prime form and they had Mark Footitt back, keen to make a point. I know we had a few players missing, ahead of the T20 finale next week. I know Wayne Madsen was poorly yesterday.

But that was dreadful. We batted badly, bowled without control and, from the messages that have come my way, showed a lack of commitment and willingness to battle that was hugely disappointing. With nine wickets and seventy-five overs to survive, granted on a wicket that had been under covers for over 24 hours, we lasted just 63.

Like most supporters of the club, I can take losing, as long as there is a fight - heaven knows we are used to it by now. But after the partnership between Ben Slater and Billy Godleman was broken, there was little evidence of this until Tom Taylor and Tony Palladino got together. When 'extras' is second top score, you have a major problem.

Good bowling? Yes, to a point, but you don't need to pull out all the stops when the opposition shows the resilience of a poppadom. Over the three days of cricket, we were so far second in this game that it would have been laughable, were it not deeply frustrating for those who care about the club.

Billy Godleman was right in his assertion that we have played better cricket this season, more so in saying that we did badly here. 

In a fixture where the bragging rights are important but too often go to Nottingham, we simply didn't turn up.


Captain Chessy said...

Shocking performance. No backbone or application. It will be interesting to see what side is selected for the tour match. Is Will Davis fit yet ?

Dave said...

Captain Chessy , the 2nd XI plus Palladio will face the tourists , and Will Davis is not fit.

I thought this game would have provided much needed batting practice for some of the out of touch 1st XI.

Tourist matches are now regarded as less important than games against the universities.

notoveryet said...

Bitterly disappointing as it was not to be able to hold out for a draw after the weather gave us a great chance, I don’t think this was anywhere near our worse performance of the season, and certainly not as poor as the second innings against Durham, when we threw away a golden chance of setting up a near-certain win. This in turn was just the latest in a series of poor second innings performances and regular middle order collapses. Even in our win against Glamorgan, it was a lot closer than it needed to be because of a weak second innings. More generally, the batting has been very disappointing, with only 7 centuries, and the majority of two of those being against declaration bowling.

There was more mitigation here than in some of the other performances. Notts have done this regularly all season – interestingly, a Notts supporter told me that they have only lost 11 second innings wickets all season, and since we took 10 of those at Trent Bridge, it shows how good they are at nailing teams down. They bowled and caught well in large part. Wilson and Hosein couldn’t have done much more with the balls they got, and Godleman was a bit unlucky as he seemed to play the ball onto his pads from where it ballooned out to short mid-wicket. Madsen’s delayed appearance may not have helped, although in his 4 day form of this season, he’s a long way from the player we used to be able to rely on to bat time and support others playing around him. But the shots played by Slater, Hughes and Madsen, as well as Reece earlier were poor in the circumstances. The approach seemed confused, with some looking as if they were trying to smack their way out of the deficit as quickly as possible, some trying to bat time, and some trying to do both at different stages of their innings. I understand that batsmen don’t want to get tied down, let bowlers settle, and let close packed fields oppress them, but it seemed that too many batsmen were playing as they wanted to rather than how the game situation and the quality of the bowling demanded.

For me, though, the real damage was done on the first evening when the bowlers didn’t make good use of helpful conditions, a huge number of extras were conceded, and a catch dropped. This set the tone for the second day, which was possibly one of the worst Derbyshire bowling performances I’ve seen. Every spell from every bowler started with successive boundaries, a flurry of wides, or a spate of no balls. Viljoen was perhaps finding his way again having played so little first class cricket, and at least bowled some challenging deliveries, but otherwise it was dismal. They weren’t helped by the fielding, with Read dropped early on by Madsen and Wilson missing the simplest stumping off Ball, and it was perhaps fortunate that the brilliance of Hales camouflaged the poverty of Derbyshire’s cricket on the day.

All credit to Billy Godleman for fronting up so honestly, and refusing to blame the interruption from T20 for the loss of momentum. For all the failure of the bowling in this match, though, the general issue is with the middle-order batting, with no settled number three, and Madsen, Wilson (after his return from playing for Ireland), Hughes (the last two matches aside) and Smit contributing too little too often.