Friday, 15 September 2017

Sussex v Derbyshire day 4 - Viljoen enters county legend

Derbyshire 338 and 322-8 dec

Sussex 271 (Viljoen 7-80) and 344 (Viljoen 8-90)

Derbyshire won by 45 runs

It might have taken longer for us to see Hardus Viljoen in action than we would have wanted, but having got his body right, it has taken him far less time to write himself into the county record books.

Eight wickets in the second innings of this game, following seven in the first innings, made him the first Derbyshire bowler since 1952 to take fifteen wickets in a match. The last man to do it was Cliff Gladwin, who took sixteen at considerably less pace than Hardus at Amblecote, in Worcestershire, where the wickets often favoured bowlers  and where Cliff would need no second bidding.

Viljoen took his on a wicket that was pretty good for batting, as evidenced by the match scores. Over on his excellent and informative Twitter account tonight, club historian and statistician David Griffin has some excellent statistics (and photographs) of the day's action and I acknowledge his assistance  in recording that Viljoen is only the fifth Derbyshire bowler to take fifteen wickets in a match for us, as well as the first non-English player to take more than thirteen wickets. There are plenty of other facts to savour, that will doubtless and rightly appear on the club site before long.

It is testament to the commitment and fitness of the big fast bowler that he reeled off 25 overs and seemed to maintain pace to the very end. It is also worth mentioning the efforts of Fran Clarkson, the club physio, in getting him to that stage after an early season ravaged by a knee injury that could have easily seen him play no more cricket in 2017.

It showed also what might be possible another summer, if he has more help at the other end and can maintain this fitness. As I noted this morning, a young attack was going to struggle to bowl out a lengthy batting line-up on a good wicket and at one point looked like they were not going to do so. Viljoen's excellent habit of getting an early wicket continued, but then Wells and van Zyl batted well to add 136, before the fast bowler's return took two quick wickets.

Harry Podmore then found the edge of van Zyl's bat and the catch, a difficult one, was put down by Harvey Hosein as the batsman and Luke Wright added another century stand. It looked like being a costly error.

At 267-3 there appeared only one winner in the game, but Viljoen's return ripped out three quick wickets, his next spell another two. The clips on Twitter show hostile, classic fast bowling, short and threatening, quick and straight. The photograph of Luke Wright's dismissal, when well set on 80, shows a man beaten for pace, no mean feat.

Harry Podmore's return to the attack saw him take the last two wickets and the players will enjoy their return journey tonight. They deserve to, after a job well done.

Rightly so, because, despite Hardus' tour de force it was a team performance. Everyone battled with the bat and some excellent catches were held, notably by Hughes and Qadri. Mention too of sound captaincy by Wayne Madsen, who would have loved another experienced bowler to work with, but who handled his young attack well.

They must have learned a lot from their giant spearhead's herculean effort today and David Griffin's photograph of Qadri and Viljoen with their arms around each other's shoulders is one of my new favourites.

Chesterfield is next. Hardus will enjoy the traditional bounce there. I reckon our supporters will too.

Well done Derbyshire and well done Hardus Viljoen.

Even Ian Bishop and Michael Holding didn't manage this.

You've entered county legend now...


Steve H said...

Having attended the first three days but not, regrettably, the last I'd obviously join the plaudits of Viljoen. An outstanding performance on what was generally a batting strip.

I'd like to add to that this game was set up, in the main, by a team of young players given their opportunity. They can and will improve by exposure to this sort of cricket. Enough said.

jasper said...

Great effort. Like you pf before the game i expected nothing but a defeat. Exceptional from HV I would love to know what mph he was clocking.

Opening Bat said...

A great result for Derbyshire, and whilst we have to celebrate the efforts of Hardus Viljoen, the team effort in the batting was most encouraging, it just shows that 3 or 4 50's helps get a competitive score. Hopefully this match gives us a glimpse of what we are capable of in 2018 with a fit quick bowler, we just need to get him some support. I think the batting has potential, but the bowling needs strengthening. Well done, two more matches to get us up the table!!

David Woolley said...

Not getting to far in front of myself Peakfan, but I think we are seeing the formulation of a decent side. It really is a pity that we are coming to the end of the season.
We have made big strides forward from last year.The youngsters potential is being realised as they become more accustomed to County cricket, and in my opinion they will only continue to get better.
I don't want to start thinking ahead regarding potential signings for next year, let's just be thankful for the improved performances this year.
Well done to all the lads, that's the whole team, but especially Hardus. Roll on next week.

Anonymous said...

Listened to most of today. What a rollercoaster of emotions. Well done Hardus. Awesome performance

Ash said...

Most enjoyable CC match I've listened in a long while, while we all know we are a long way off being the finished article, there has definitely been improvement and there are signs of a decent CC team in the making, I still believe we are a batsman short ( could this be Wilson? )a genuine all rounder (IF Shiv comes back then that is that sorted, if not I hope the county has plans in place, an 'old dog' like Darren Stevens would do me for a couple of seasons) and despite HV mammoth efforts the make up of the bowling still isn't quite there and needs thoughts. Didn't like the videos on social media of Harry Podmore kicking the water bottle around the pitch, we leave that to other Counties to do. I am a little disappointed that Taylor didn't get a run in the team till the end of the season, thought he has been improving and deserved a chance. Any chance Mckerr would be available next season either permanent or season long loan? A fully fit HV, Davis and A N other would do me, With support through the season from Reece, all rounder, Dino, Hughes and Taylor. Thoughts? And on another note did anyone notice the 2nd eleven side this week? Some names there I've not seen before, were these just 'fillers' to put a side out or were we having a look at a few trialists? And finally well done HH, he's waited for his chance and took it well, sounded like he had a sound game with the gloves, ( I only heard he dropped one , which 'popped' out his gloves, please correct me if I am wrong) he batting figures looked go for the game, scoring runs AND doing our favourite thing PF , he batted time. However good a gloveman Smit is his batting has been poor in the CC and we expected more. See you at Chesterfield weather permitting

notoveryet said...

My optimism on the first day was well and truly rewarded, as was my comment that Viljoen seems to like Hove. Even if Sussex seemed dispirited for much of the game, it was a great match, capped by probably the best fast-bowling performance from Derbyshire I've seen. When you think that that takes into account the likes of Holding, Bishop, Cork, Hendrick etc, it shows how good Viljoen was. In truth, it was a great match for lovers of real fast bowling with Davis, Whittingham, and Garton all bowling very quickly as well. While some of it was pretty wild, there's no denying that nothing in cricket is more thrilling than the sight of stumps cartwheeling, toe-crushing yorkers, and batsmen fending the ball from in front of their faces, and we had that throughout the three days I was there.

Though it's tempting to see this as a one man show, that's unfair on the rest of the team. Davis looked a little rusty and lacking in rhythm but still bowled with good pace, and Podmore bowled some good overs although he varied too much in line and length for a bowler of his pace. My sense was that they both went looking for wicket-taking balls to try to match Viljoen, rather than concentrating on creating pressure through dot balls. Qadri bowled well until he was put under pressure, as he did against Durham at Chesterfield, although I thought he might have been bowled earlier in both innings. The real stand-out though was the fielding and particularly the catching. I've not been convinced by Hughes in the slips, but this was a blinding performance. The one chance that went down by Hosein was, I think, little more than a half chance in front of first slip but dropping short, and otherwise it was a very good wicket-keeping display, particularly in the context of some very quick and wild bowling.

One of the extraordinary features was the number of runs scored in the match without a century. I wonder what the record is and how close we got to it. I've mentioned before the problem of people making 40's and 50's and not going on, and that was writ large in this game. Both Slater and Hughes were out to horrible shots in the first innings, and if there had been more application from them and Reece then, we might easily have reached 450 and put the game out of reach. We'd then have missed yesterday's drama, but, with Madsen so out of sorts and Godleman missing the last two matches, these starts need to made to count.

One last word. Despite the chilly weather for most of the time I was there, Hove is one of the warmest and most welcoming places to go to see cricket. The applause for Viljoen from Sussex supporters was really generous - all I can imagine from a Derby crowd in the same circumstances would have been a dour silence - but what was also striking was how negative they are about their team and management. Despite still having a theoretical chance of promotion, their dissatisfaction and disappointment was obvious and pretty vocal, with moments of barracking their own players, and this mood was reflected in the body language of the team. Perhaps they need to be where we've been for the past two years to fully appreciate disappointment and misery!

Peakfan said...

Terrific write up. Thank you!