Warwickshire 375-6 (Lamb 79 not, Trott 76, Wright 72 Critchley 3-63)
Warwickshire lead by 57 runs
What a difference a day makes.
Most of us, after yesterday, had some expectation of a first innings lead by the end of today. Instead, we are looking quite clearly at a first defeat of the summer, unless we bowl a lot better tomorrow morning.
I will absolve our two young spinners from blame, as they both offered control beyond their years. Luis Reece also bowled tidily, but the mystery was why Matt Critchley had to wait till mid-afternoon to turn his arm over, when he had quite clearly troubled the batsmen last night.
He bowled well again today and fully deserved his three wickets, but I'd have to say that our two South Africans were very, very ordinary, slipping into the 'poor' category at times, and Mark Footitt looked very rusty. There were some hideous balls from all three of them and the overnight batsmen got in quite easily today and were soon playing shots. I could have stayed in, because even at my age I have a good leave outside off stump. There was plenty - way too much - opportunity for that today.
32 extras tells its own story and it was a sorry effort. I take nothing away from Warwickshire, who batted sensibly and well, but we should have had Critchley on well before he was. If a tail-ender gets in, they generally find it easier to score runs when there is pace on the ball, and Wright did this admirably. Sometimes, all you need is the change of pace, let alone spin, and it took our senior players way too long to fathom that. Once they did, they got him.
I know we have two very good South African bowlers. I know we have a scattergun left armer who can be devastating and disappointing in the same over, but I think we should have thought more out of the box today. Yes, Viljoen and Olivier wanted a relatively new ball, but neither used it well and we judge such things against very good benchmarks at Derbyshire. For what it's worth, we missed Ravi Rampaul's ability to pitch it on the cut strip today. Badly.
For me, giving Critchley a harder ball with a little bounce at one end, even for three or four overs, to make Wright think and mix things up would have been better. It worked for Warwickshire and it's their ground, so you'd reckon there was some merit in it. Then you would have had Bell in earlier and things could have been different.
It's too late now and they have, I think, batted us out of this game. I suspect Patel will, as he has been so often, be the game changer in the third innings, so it is imperative that we take quick wickets tomorrow and restrict the lead to under three figures.
They simply have to make them play. There were some ridiculous, embarrassing wides today, the sort you might see in a beer match, and it made for awkward watching.
I've been quick to praise on my time on the blog, but I will always be honest and I will be critical when we become unprofessional.
Some of today's bowling was, sadly, just that.