Durham 272-8 (Latham 66, Reece 2-43)
Derbyshire 273-6 (Reece 92, Godleman 60, Hughes 42 not, Wilson 40)
Derbyshire won by four wickets with 2 balls remaining
In time-honoured Derbyshire fashion, and bear in mind I've watched it being done for over fifty summers now, we almost turned what looked a walk in the park into an arthritic hirple today, before getting across the line by the skin of our teeth.
The arthritic gait was apposite, given that it was triggered by Luis Reece, who batted with a runner after a blow while bowling, smacking one back and hitting Wayne Madsen in the small of the back. Then Madsen was limping and the whole thing looked like an embryonic comedy sketch, before Wayne was caught behind and Matt Critchley soon followed. Following on quickly from the dismissal of Billy Godleman, 163-1 had turned into 169-4 in the blink of an eye.
When Reece was eventually bowled for an excellent 92, we needed 81 from the last ten overs. It is something that in these days of T20 is usually easy, but Durham's dander was up and Nathan Rimmington bowled with greater hostility than I ever recall in our colours.
It was then then that Gary Wilson and Alex Hughes came together. Wilson, the vice-captain restored to the side (and good job too) started sketchily, but soon both batsmen were into their groove. Hughes effectively sealed the game with an assault on the last over of Dixon, who always looked the likely target. A four over extra cover, a straight six then another straight four made the equation a run-a-ball. Common sense prevailed with the batting thereafter, though Wilson's last over demise, as he attempted to clear the infield was not part of the home script.
A scrambled leg bye took Daryn Smit and Hughes home, closer than it should have been after the excellent start, once again, from the top three. Godleman is a fine player in this format, though was not as free as at Edgbaston. Reece goes from strength to strength and is such a good player now. His winter in Bangladesh has brought his bowling on remarkably and he did another fine turn today. He and we could have done without the blow on his leg that reduced him to a hobble later though, and we must hope he is fit for the next match.
I was more impressed by the bowling today, on a very good batting strip. Early on Durham looked like posting 300-plus, but Madsen's brilliant run out of Steel, was followed by consistent wicket-taking through the innings. Smit took another excellent catch standing up to Reece, his contribution to the latter's success in doing so not to be underestimated. When batsmen cannot use their feet with confidence, bowlers have a much better chance.
The two South Africans bowled much better lines, while Ravi Rampaul, after a first over that suggested he less needed to get loose than be fitted together, came back well and bowled the best death spell I have seen from him so far. There were a couple of late blows, but overall we did well in the field today and the discipline was considerably improved.
All of which leaves us, after three games, in third place.
I think we'll all take that, but next time can do without the nail chewing of the closing stages.
Leicestershire next, who were smashed for 409 by Nottinghamshire today. They will want to improve on that and we need to maintain focus - and get everyone fit - to go three-one.