Thursday, 10 May 2018

Derbyshire v Durham preview

There is a chance to get back to winning ways for Derbyshire over the next four days, in the last four day match before the Royal London One Day Cup commences and takes over the next month.

In a not overly auspicious start, the bowler that we brought in as cover for that competition, Mark Footitt, is injured. There is no word on how big an issue this is, but he is out for tomorrow's game at the very least.

The good news is that Tony Palladino is fit again, so Derbyshire can choose any four from Viljoen, Olivier, Rampaul, Palladino and Davis. My guess is that it will be the first four, so that any directional issues from the first two can be compensated for by Rampaul and Palladino.

There's also two wicket-keepers in the squad, with both Daryn Smit and Harvey Hosein named. My guess is that Smit will play, largely because he has several hundreds under his belt already this summer, in league and second team cricket. Hosein has struggled for runs, following four in each innings against Warwickshire in the recently completed four day game with a first-baller in today's fifty-over loss against the same side.

So my side, for what it is worth, and in my preferred batting order would be:


In an interview this week, Luis Reece said that he wasn't bothered where he batted in the top six. If the club continue to use his left arm seam variation, I think it is more realistic for him to bat lower and have a breather, rather than having to switch on immediately to open the innings. It also keeps a left hander in the middle order and breaks up the bowler's line a little.

Durham are bolstered by the return of Mark Wood from the IPL and he may well take the new ball with our T20 old boy, Nathan Rimmington. South African star Aiden Markram opens their batting and is a fine player, while Paul Collingwood still gets his runs in the middle order.

Their thirteen:

Markram, Steel, Smith, Clark, Harte, Collingwood, Richardson, Poynter, Weighell, Wood, Rimmington, Dixon, Harding.

They had a wonderful win against Leicestershire last time out, another of those games that shows the true value of four-day cricket. They are always a combative side and any win will need to be earned, that's for sure.

We can do it, if the batting fires on all cylinders and the bowlers have their radars locked on better than at Edgbaston. The second day there, especially the first session, will live long in my memory for appalling use of a new ball. I've grown up watching Rhodes, Hendrick, Holding, Mortensen, Langeveldt and Welch using a new ball brilliantly, as well as hearing tales of how Gladwin, Jackson, the Popes and Copson made them play, almost every time.

If that radar is better, the bowlers have the skill to win us the game. If they don't...let's not think about that right now.

Like most of you I will be glued to the streaming, unless you are lucky enough to be there in person.

Postscript: another defeat for a very young second team today, as I mentioned earlier, but a battling effort to limit it to just 61 runs.

Warwickshire made 297-8, with Sandiacre's Dan Wheeldon starring with 3-38. Will Davis also got three wickets, but they cost 82 runs. Former Leicestershire spinner James Sykes bowled a tight spell, taking 0-36 in his ten overs, not bad in the circumstances.

When we batted, we slumped to 11-3, but Tom Wood made 56 and Callum Brodrick 28 before being run out. At 124-7 it looked all over, but Wheeldon hit five sixes in his breezy 36 from 24 balls and Will Davis (37 not out) added 59 in eight overs with Sykes (24), before the latter was all out and the innings ended on 236.

A better effort, for sure.


  1. I like your team selection but am wondering with the squad selection if Smit and Hosein might both play at 7 & 8 with Viljoen, Rampaul and Olivier the main bowlers backed up with Reece, Critchley, Hughes and Madsen.

  2. Paul Fitzpatrick10 May 2018 at 20:45

    Can see an inform Rushworth Weighell and Wood blow us away if the top order fail
    Would like to see Hosein and Davis playing

  3. They could play both David, whic would make Reece dropping down more important.

    Rushworth isn't in the squad, Paul, but it is a good attack that they have, for sure

  4. Its a long time since we were able to say one of our players is unavailable owing to being on test duty.

  5. The development of the bowling of both Critchley and Reece so far this season offers real flexibility of selection for the first time in several years. It would be feasible to go with 3 specialist bowlers if you (or more importantly, Godleman) feels the evidence so far can be trusted. My feeling is that it's too soon to make that call in a game that we absolutely should win, and 4 quick bowlers will be picked. It's been really good though to see Critchley trusted with early and lengthy spells, and to respond to it so well.

    It's interesting that so much of the comment during and after the Warwickshire match was about the failures of the bowlers. I can't dispute how rudderless the second morning's bowling was, but I thought Derbyshire lost this with their batting on the first day. Reece (notwithstanding his fine innings against Middlesex) isn't in great touch and Godleman isn't staying out enough to know what sort of form he's in, so it's all the more important for Slater,Hughes and Madsen not to sell their wickets cheaply. In all of our innings this year bar one, we have been 4 down for less than 100, and against Warwickshire could have been 5 down if Madsen's chance had been taken.

    Most of the early wickets in all 3 matches so far have been due to over-aggression, and I thought this was evident in the bowling as well with 4 slips up for much of the time, and bowlers striving too hard for wickets with every ball. Warwickshire gave us an object lesson in earning the right to go on the front foot, and wearing the opposition down.It was a pitch that demanded 450 by the side batting first, and if we'd done that, the pressure for early wickets would have been less and the quick bowlers might have relaxed more into their spells.

    Whether Godleman should have dropped to 5 or not,he now needs to go back to open to have the best chance of recovering form, with Reece dropping to 4 and Hughes to 5 or 6. Nothing I've seen of him has convinced me that he can bat reliably at 4, when he can so easily be facing a fairly new ball and fresh opening bowlers. Whichever of Smit or Hosein plays, runs are a premium. The former certainly looks in better form, although his ability to score a mountain of runs in 2nd XI and league isn't in any doubt. He needs to show that he can score runs in Div 2 at least as consistently as Hosein has done.

    One last word on the 2nd XI game. Sibley had a poor CC match, dropped to the second team, got some rhythm and confidence, and will hope to take that back into the first team. None of our struggling batsmen took the same opportunity. Perhaps it's not just the kit arrangements that need a rethink?


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