Sunday, 22 April 2018

Derbyshire v Middlesex day 3

Derbyshire 265 and 333-3 (Reece 157* Slater 99, Madsen 52)

Middlesex 157 and 86-3 (Olivier 2-25)

Derbyshire lead by 355 runs

Another day, another disciplined effort by Derbyshire, as they moved within seven wickets of their first home championship win in four seasons.

Seven wickets are needed tomorrow, on what looks like a full day of cricket. The wicket is not playing undue tricks, but seemed to have more in it when we bowled, especially as the visitors were shorn of the injured Harris and Roland-Jones.

That takes nothing away from Ben Slater and Luis Reece, who took their opening stand to 219, a county record against Middlesex, before Ben got bogged down on 99 and hit to cover. It takes nothing, bar a digit in the record book, from an excellent innings that continued his fine early season form and confirmed his ability to get his head down.

Reece went on and on, remaining unbeaten when the declaration came after another top innings. His success since moving from Lancashire has been entirely gratifying in all forms of the game, though not especially if you go to cricket matches with a red rose on your jumper. His short spell late in the day was also promising, bowling a full length that troubled the batsmen and got the ball to swing. I cannot think of too many opening batsmen who gave you a left-arm seam option over the years, and he is becoming a very special cricketer.

Tony Palladino was also on the mark and beat the batsmen with late movement in a typical display, but the star turn was again Duanne Olivier.

Hardus Viljoen ran in hard and took the key wicket of Robson with a big in-swinger, but he didn't appear to have full rhythm today. It will come, but when Olivier switched to the Racecourse/Media Centre End, he really seemed to slip himself. He had taken a wicket with his first ball from the City End, but from the other he looked a handful and the quickest bowler on show.

The sight of a Derbyshire quick bowler with five slips and two short legs brought back memories of Messrs Holding, Bishop and Malcolm in their pomp and Olivier responded to being pulled for four with a fine delivery that left Cartwright and gave a simple catch to Gary Wilson.

I still think the keeper is too far back and he was taking a lot of deliveries at his ankles, which seemed to confirm that, but to find faults in this performance is churlish in the extreme.

It won't be easy to take the last seven wickets tomorrow, but I was heartened by how Billy Godleman switched his bowlers around and tried them at different ends. It looked like a captain in control of things and with the confidence that he had the firepower to win a four-day match, perhaps for the first time in his captaincy.

We'll see if that is the case tomorrow, but we have had three very impressive days so far.


Mark said...

This is the complete performance so far isn't it?. Even if we fail to kill the game off tomorrow, there are so many positives to take from the game. Runs from the top order and encouraging signs from the seam attack, make me think this could be a special season. Let's finish this off tomorrow lads.

David Woolley said...

If Middlesex survive the day tomorrow Peakfan, fair play to them, they will have battled well.
Olivier looks a bit special, Viljoen will get better as the season goes on, Palladino is, Palladino, and i've been impressed with Rampaul.
Might get to see a bit more spin bowling from Madders tomorrow.
All in all, win or draw, well done to the whole team. You have given us a cracking start to the season.

Peakfan said...

Keith (not Rev Keith) I haven't published your comment as it was a rant.
I never publish rants as they do no one any favours. Especially you.

Martin Edwards said...

Three excellent days. Frustrating and unlucky for Ben Slater to miss out on a century, but a very encouraging start to the season. The key thing is to keep it up.

Opening Bat said...

Great start for DCCC hopefully we can force a win today. Disappointed for Ben after doing the hard work he seemed to get frozen in 90's and just couldn't work the ball around for singles like a more experienced batsman would do. Well done to Luis, and a good partnership of accumulation without any fireworks with Wayne. Let's release those quickies again then may be mads and critch to weedle out any stubborn defence!! If we can score +250 in each of our innings throughout the season I think we will have many good results.

Martin Booth said...

What a good 3 days play. Hopefully we can get the last wickets today and celebrate a win. How anyone can leave a “Rant” comment after this performance goodness me!

Peakfan said...

It's Derbyshire, Martin. Always a section of support happier to moan about a defeat than celebrate a good performance. Always been the same and likely always will be.
Don't have an issue with criticism, but when justified, constructive and properly expressed.

Shaun said...

Very pleased with the overall performance of the whole team so far. Reece, as you say Peakfan, is a very valuable player and delighted in particular with Olivier.The spirit in the side looks really excellent. Gary Wilson will refind his form and he can be very influential, so hold back on any criticism for him. He is also an excellent team man. If you had to nit-pick I think you could make a case for slightly quicker scoring when in dominant positions in order to consolidate authority but to be fair, we haven't been in such situations with any regularity in the past , so its a skill we need to develop. Lets hope this final day brings the win the team deserves.