Friday, 25 May 2018

Derbyshire v Leicestershire RLODC

Derbyshire 211-9 (Godleman 64, Wilson 49, Aaron 4-31)

Leicestershire 206-7 (Critchley 3-35, Reece 3-37)

Derbyshire won by five runs

Check your league table tonight, my friends and then check it again.

Because Derbyshire sit proudly atop their group after a third win in four games saw off a gallant late effort from our local rivals, Leicestershire. Tom Wells, after a period of playing himself in, started to tee off against Hardus Viljoen and Ravi Rampaul. Forty off two overs was quickly getting eroded and Rampaul was twice hit for six in a final over that included a no ball.

When it came down to six from the last ball, there were a few nails being chewed, but Rampaul held his nerve and, as Wells stepped outside off to try and swing him, cleverly followed the batsman. Wells clearly thought it a wide, but since he himself was almost on the wide line, all bets were off.

So we made a meal of it, just like the Durham game, but crucially came out on top again. We have all seen many times over the years when that hasn't happened, so it is nice to be winning these close finishes.

There's quite a brains trust going on out in the field: Godleman, Wilson, Smit and Madsen were in regular conversations and that experience has been  proving vital. All have played key roles too. Godleman once again anchoring the innings beautifully with shots conventional and created, Wilson helping to rebuild the innings once more when it was floundering, Madsen bowling some key tight overs and Smit...well...

So far his innings have been 26*, 22, 1* and 30. All made at the death, all made quickly, flying somewhat in the face of those critics who say he has no shots. Sometimes, in the team's cause, he chooses not to, but the sixteen he took from the penultimate over today were crucial. I tweeted accordingly at the end of the innings and so it transpired. There was an impeccable display behind the stumps too, the pinnacle a catch of brilliance when the dangerous Ackermann thrashed at Critchley. The edge was sharp, the reactions sharper and the secureness of his handling is quite extraordinary.

Impressive once again were Matt Critchley and Luis Reece. Each took three wickets and they are crucial to our game plan, taking the pace off the ball and keeping the batsmen guessing in the middle overs. I don't recall seeing many players who so obviously enjoy their cricket as Reece, a smile rarely far from his face, which is so nice to see. Yet the team are enjoying themselves and they have reason to do so.

Not flawless, but that happens rarely in any sport. Professional though and that is so good to see. There is a togetherness about this squad that will see them through the awkward times in a match.

To quote the old song, there may be troubles ahead, but we faced the music today - and danced to the top of the table.

5 comments:

Derby Exile said...

Sorry to start with a negative to what was another great win, but just have a feeling that the NRR (which went so pear shaped late doors) may come back to haunt us, especially if we win 2 and lose 2 of the last 4 games.

Ideally to get through in this competition since they introduced the format, you would like to have to play two disinterested teams in the last two games. Our last two are Lancs then Notts.

You'd fancy Notts to be disinterested as likely to be topping the pile by then. Bookies will have them favs to beat Warks and Worcs at home and Durham away. If so, it will also have the advantage that they then won't pick Broad (the second test will have finished by then).

Two wins from four will mean a nailbiter (and as stated NRR may undo us). Three wins from four will def mean qualification for the KO stages (and if one of those is Notts, quite possibly a bye to the semis).

Lancs now have two away games on the bounce at Worcester and Leicester before we host them and they will do well to win both.

Overall, what a refreshing change to be at the top table half way through- normally after 4 games the remaining four are net practice out in the middle.

Mark said...

Very fair comments Peakfan but I'd like us to not make so hard work of things in future games. I honestly thought we'd blown it when Wells and Parkinson started smacking us around, but Ravi showed his experience with those final few balls. Still not convinced Viljoen is the right fit for one day games, his place has to be under threat for the remaining matches. We are top of the league, well for a bit anyway, well done lads.

Mark Neve said...

Great win. I didn’t think 211 would be enough especially after the Leics start. Bowled great until about 30-31 overs and the last 2 overs were absolute tripe. No ball by Rampaul at that crucial stage. We were lucky in the end. Fair play to Wells he did well. Anyway, a win is a win again and onwards and upwards we go. Got to keep improving though with big games coming up.

Opening Bat said...

Didn't go down yesterday as I never thought they would complete a game as 5 miles away we were in mist and cloud all afternoon. Excellent win especially as we batted first. I certainly think the team looks stronger with the extra batsman, and billy back opening, let's hope that carrys into 4 day when it restarts. The need for 7 bowlers is emphasised by the lack of wickets for our strike bowlers. I think Luis reece and Matt critchley are massively improved allround players this year, along with Alex Hughes bowling, hopefully his batting can improve although his knock against Durham turned the match. It should be an interesting week and see what the table looks like in a week's time.

Opening Bat said...

Hi PF, are blogs getting through to you I sent something (nothing major so no problem) but not seen it and no other blogs from others when I thought they would have been others commenting after great win on Friday