Thank you to each and every one of you who has contributed to the blog comments over the past day or two, as well as those who made the four thousand visits to the blog yesterday. They have made for fascinating reading and we appear to be in general agreement over the season's T20 as a whole.
There is a saying, in sport and entertainment, that you are only as good as your last appearance. If that were genuinely true, it would overlook a summer in which, for the first time in over a decade, we looked like we could play the short game. To 'escape' from a strong northern group is no mean feat, and as much as 2017 will go down as the year in which we were hammered by 'Boom Boom' it will also, more importantly, be the one in which we reached the knockouts, beating the reigning champions en route, as well as doing the double over Yorkshire. They didn't like that...
There were games in which we batted well, games in which we bowled well. There were not that many where we managed both disciplines equally, which suggests that if we could string that together another year we might be quite special indeed.
Imran Tahir did pretty much all we could have expected from an overseas bowler, taking wickets and bowling tightly more often than not. You have to hide him in the field, but that has always been the case and he would be top of my list for retention another year. He remains box office and his wicket celebration is always an over the top thrill.
The jury is probably out on Matt Henry, a lovely bloke, useful batsman, excellent fielder but too expensive as a bowler to be considered a success. I think he would be worthy of consideration for early season, four-day cricket and the RLODC, but he hasn't yet got the control that we needed from that pivotal overseas seam bowling role. It is a tough gig and there is a limited market, but the second overseas role needs thought for another year.
Indeed, some would argue that a gun bat at the top of the order might have been better for the side's balance, although that was slightly skewed when Shiv Thakor was ruled out of the tournament. My preference would still have been a batsman who can bowl a few overs, in a similar way to Colin Ingram, who has done so well for Glamorgan.
Billy Godleman played a couple of excellent knocks, but struggled either side of them and is far from a natural at the format, while Matt Critchley came in late as a pinch-hitter and did an excellent job. His bowling was under-used, but I expect much in the years to come from a player of real talent. So too Luis Reece, who enjoyed an excellent T20 tournament and played some brilliant, free flowing knocks. His bowling could come more into it for the future, but he has proved a very shrewd and successful signing.
Wayne Madsen was simply magnificent. His batting was remarkably consistent and his bowling, until last night, showed the virtues of line and length. He didn't bowl badly last night, and perhaps should have been brought back, but Afridi was in mercurial form and the rest is history. Time and again Wayne came in, consolidated, accelerated and looked a million dollars. We are lucky to have him and should enjoy him while we can.
Gary Wilson did a good job as skipper, though the form of the top order meant he had little chance to play a big innings. He steered us home in several matches though, showing the merit of experience and a calm head. Meanwhile Alex Hughes played some nice cameos, turned his arm over to good effect here and there and fielded brilliantly in the key positions. He is becoming a very solid, valuable cricketer and is still some time from his peak.
Daryn Smit kept wicket splendidly throughout, quick-handed and sure, while playing a couple of key innings that helped to beat Yorkshire at Chesterfield and Lancashire at Derby. He also managed the captaincy well for three matches, demanding as covering those two roles is for any player.
Ben Cotton came into the side in mid-tournament and bowled as well as anyone, this format, perhaps more than any other, suiting his height and ability to find the wide yorker lengths that are so important.
Finally, there was Hardus Viljoen. Early in the tournament he wasn't fit and looked it. He struggled for pace and rhythm and throughout his line was often erratic. But by the closing stages of the competition he was bowling some seriously quick balls and showing what we could have done with from the start of the summer. For another year, fit and firing, he will be an asset, but we need to get better value from an obviously talented bowler than we have thus far.
Overall? Plenty of reasons to be cheerful. John Wright came in with fresh ideas and a load of ideas that the players responded to. If we could get him for one more season, in any capacity, it would be to our advantage. Perhaps he doesn't need another year, after a career in which he must have fulfilled most of his ambitions, but perhaps the lure of a finals day appearance might make another summer worthy of his attention.
Kim Barnett did a fine job in enticing John to the club and getting Dominic Cork involved. Together with Steve Stubbings and the fitness team they did a fine job in keeping a good team spirit going and the players fit.
The challenge now is to build on this. 2017 was a year of encouragement, but should not stand like an oasis in a desert of T20 under-fulfilment. It should be, as both Wayne Madsen and Gary Wilson said today, a building block for the future. Not the pinnacle of our T20 cricket, but the genesis of a Derbyshire side that plays the game as well as most.
With shrewd recruitment for another year, there's no reason why it can't be.
In short? Aside from last night, be proud of your efforts, lads. You have given long-suffering supporters something to cheer and reason to believe.
Where it goes from here is down to you.