Saturday, 19 May 2018

Worcestershire v Derbyshire RLODC

Worcestershire 323-6 (Whiteley 58, Cox 56 not, Fell 56 Hughes 2-49)

Derbyshire 273 (Madsen 87, Reece 62, Hughes 47)

Worcestershire won by 50 runs.

I am writing this as Derbyshire's innings has sadly subsided from the promise of 208-4 to the unlikely depths of 237-8. Indeed, even at 236-5 we looked to have a shout, with Smit and Hughes together, but the long tail has come back to haunt us in this game, as has ill-discipline in the field.

Whatever his merits as a bowler, Olivier is residing in the Devon Malcolm class as a batsman and is only at ten because Rampaul is at eleven. First impressions of Sharif the batsman are not good, so despite the presence of Alex Hughes at the crease, there will be nothing from the other end and we will slide to defeat here.

Yet we cannot blame nine, ten, jack if the top order don't make enough. Wayne Madsen played another fine innings, but went on the reverse sweep for the second time in three days, Luis Reece batted equally well but perished on an ugly slog sweep. No one else really got going and converted promise to substance.

The bowlers were the issue today, though credit has to be given to the home team for a solid, professional effort which gathered pace like a runaway locomotive. Sadly, we had no Casey Jones to stop it. The best bowling, for the second time in three days, came from Alex Hughes and Luis Reece, who slowed things a little, but there were one or two things that puzzled me.

I'm assuming that Duanne Olivier picked up an injury, because after an opening spell of six overs for twelve runs he didn't bowl again. Both Ravi Rampaul and Hardus Viljoen were horribly expensive and Safyaan Sharif didn't get a bowl until the thirtieth over. He copped some stick and came back to earth after his promising debut, but Ross Whiteley has done that to more experienced bowlers than him over the years.

We also gave away 28 extras, while Worcestershire conceded three. Smit took two excellent catches standing up to the seamers, but any lapse in line will then be costly and there were eleven byes, as well as eight no balls and seven wides. On such profligacy are matches won and lost. We can ill afford it, for sure and the main culprits were experienced men, Rampaul (2 wides, 2 no balls) and Viljoen (4 wides, 1 no ball)

Credit should be given to another fine effort by Matt Critchley, who conceded only two boundaries in ten overs, but the senior men should be doing better than that.

As I finish, despite some late heroics from Alex Hughes, who made a battling 47, we have lost by fifty runs. It is not the end of the world, having won one and lost one from our opening games, but we need to tighten up with the ball before Derby this week.

Had a we conceded what Worcestershire did, we were chasing under 300 and that's a world of difference for a run chase. Less than a run a ball is mentally much easier and we were never quite on the required rate today.

Things to work on, for sure, as well as a tweak to the team. With our all-rounders bowling well, might Gary Wilson coming in for a bowler not be a better option?

As always, your thoughts are welcome. But let's remember, today's opponents were semi-finalists in this competition last year.

Enjoy your weekend.


  1. The important thing is after a defeat is not to panic but …

    The concern from the opening two RL games is that the bowling line up at the moment is too erratic for white ball cricket.

    In what is becoming a familiar comment the lack of all rounders is what is going to be the problem in all formats this season. Interesting comment on commentary where the Worcestershire commentator said that they are trying to convert their number 8 Barnard into a 3 or 4 batsman in the county championship we couldn’t do that with our number 8.

    Typically it had to be Ross Whiteley that turned the game today as his innings changed the momentum of the game.

    I guess that the fact we are disappointed that we couldn’t chase down 324 away from home shows that we are more “glass half full” than “glass half empty” at the moment.

  2. If Olivier is injured maybe Wilson will come in for him but personally I think Rampaul has been disappointing. After 5 overs each today Olivier had gone for 5. And Rampaul 35. Sums it up for me. Rampauls wicket sounded like a leg side bad shot anyway. Very disappointing result we were in decent shape after 30 overs of both innings but let it drop in the latter stages. Onwards we go. Next match now vital to go 2&1 in the right favour.

  3. My suggestion next team would be as followed

    palladino (if Oliver injured)

    * I would be very surprised if we did put this team out

    In the modern listed A game you will be chasing 300 plus as a par score. The current batting line up rely on the top 4 to produce a big innings. I personally like to see the team to bat to 9. At the the moment after Smit we have got genuine number 10/11 no disrespect to them players. I think in short term this will be a challenge for small squad to achieve batting to 9. I do believe our academy will start bringing players through under the leadership of Mel loye. It just requires a couple years of patience. I think our experience bowlers need to focus on keeping more tight line. I use to think the two best players for Derbyshire was Palidino and Cotton in regards to bowling a tight line. When bowling 10 overs under 50 runs can be huge factor in the game. A huge positive this season is Matt Critchley bowling. I am not sure if he has been capped yet. It he hasn't it's only a matter of time

  4. Just read that Olivoer wasn't injured but Godleman thought we had better options. OMG that is absolutely ridiculous and makes memthink he is the wrong man for the job. How can anyone begin to justify that? Astounded

  5. I think the Palladino comment holds some merit. A player who can hold a teams aspirations of acceleration back and can bat time with a recognised batsman at the other end.

  6. I'm a bit surprised by the reactions to one defeat, given that Worcs are a pretty good 50 over side who topped the group last year, and that Whiteley has done the same to good teams in the past and will do so again. Also bearing in mind my comment prior to the game that Derbyshire have had a problem for years in stringing a succession of good results together, we shouldn't be over-reacting to one poor result any more than we should be over-reacting to a good performance.

    Having said that, there was plenty in the last 10 overs that should have been done better. It was evident from the radio commentary that it wasn't just the death bowlers that the wheels came off. The fielding (even the wicket-keeping) became ragged and leadership became indecisive with endless committee meetings and apparent changes of plan. It had almost a sense of panic at the presence and threat of Whiteley that led to plans being torn up. It was obvious that Olivier wasn't injured, as he was still on the field, but I assume that Godleman thought he would bowl too much in Whiteley's arc at a pace that would help him get over the boundary, and went instead to more experienced death bowlers. I'm not aware that this is something Olivier has done a great deal of, and it's not unreasonable that Godleman turned first to bowlers like Rampaul, Viljoen, and Sharif. Hughes and Critchley had already started to be hit around by Whiteley and Cox in their final over each, so it wasn't unreasonable either for him to change from them. I can't think of any reason, though, for not going back to Olivier when Sharif and Rampaul had been so expensive, if only to give the batsmen something different to think about. Olivier is also something of a golden arm, regularly taking wickets in the first over of a spell, and as I said in an earlier comment, wickets are the gold standard in 50 over cricket.

    Rampaul's form is worrying, as he's going at nearly 8 an over in this competition, as well as proving expensive in 4 day as well, without much in the way of wickets, but he's been such a success in this competition that it seems unlikely that he won't get it right. One issue might be the line that he (and Viljoen) are trying to bowl at the end. I'm not a big fan of trying to bowl wide bouncers and yorkers, on the basis that it needs pin-point accuracy to get it right, and bowlers who are struggling to bowl wicket to wicket are unlikely to get the wide balls right, and will concede wides and byes as we did in abundance.

    The one change I'd make for the Durham game would be to leave out Sharif, who (perhaps not surprisingly) hasn't immediately fitted in, and doesn't seem to bring much to either the batting or bowling either. With Critchley bowling consistently, Hughes and Reece doing serviceable jobs, and Madsen also an option, I don't think we need the fourth specialist bowler, and wonder if being spoilt for choice was a part of the confusion in the last few overs of the Worcs innings. I'd go for the extra batsman as well - Wilson if he's fit, Brodick or Hosein if he's not. I'd also look at the batting order, and wonder if we're making the best use of Critchley. My feeling is that he's likely to make the greatest impact either at the start, as he did so well in T20 last year, or in the last 10 overs.

    No question, though, that Durham is a must-win, and if we can't beat a side in as poor shape as Durham have been in this competition, there will be real questions to ask.

  7. I'm not the first one to say it, but... as a Derbyshire fan living further afield who, truth be told, is no expert on cricket, I find the insight provided on this blog hugely enlightening and helpful. I'm thinking of both the main blog and the comments, such as the excellent one above from notoveryet. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Oliver. Like you I enjoy the comments, even when I dont necessarily agree at times.

      Usually of a very good standard and I am pleased to host a site where supporters can exchange such views in a respectful manner!

  8. For Olivier not to get another over in that game was quite franky mind boggling assuming no injury..


Please remember to add your name. Avoid personal comment at all times. Thanks!