Friday, 1 June 2018

Northamptonshire v Derbyshire RLODC

Derbyshire 265-2 (Godleman 125 not, Slater 94, Wilson 28 not)

Northamptonshire 214 (Duckett 57, Olivier 3-31, Rampaul 3-36)

Derbyshire won by 51 runs

Now that was impressive.

From the moment that Billy Godleman, ably assisted by Ben Slater, steered Derbyshire past 250 runs today, I was confident that we would win this game. Especially when I saw how the ebullient and bucolic Gary Wilson could hardly time the ball. Gary was constantly looking at the bottom of his bat and only managed one trademark blow over mid-wicket in the final over.

Which made the efforts of the openers all the more impressive. Though the ball moved off the seam and the bounce was variable, the most obvious thing was the slow pace of the wicket. Godleman and Slater realised this, watched the ball onto the bat and played it late. They ran well and did their team proud.

The skipper has recovered from a sketchy start to the season in four-day cricket to be in prime nick right now. He is a functional player who knows what he can do and limits his game to just that - with great effect.  Slater continues to look a real talent and it should not be overlooked that he, Critchley, Qadri, Hughes and Brodrick have come through the club system. That's one in the eye for those who say we are nothing but Kolpaks, but it is telling that they are all emerging with support from quality senior players. Just like the good old days, in fact.

By the time the openers were separated, in the 38th over, the score had reached 182 and a final onslaught was on the cards. It never became an avalanche of runs, as the home side bowled well and common sense saw the score to a more than respectable 265. A lesson learned from the last game, when we over-reached and under-achieved against Yorkshire.

I couldn't believe comments I saw on Twitter at the halfway stage, suggesting we had batted too slowly. I was quite confident that the home side would struggle and they never looked especially threatening, especially when the dangerous Ben Duckett holed out off Alex Hughes.

The senior group made a big call before the game and omitted Hardus Viljoen. It was a brave but one hundred per cent correct decision. I thought Hamidullah Qadri bowled beautifully and was rewarded with his first one-day wicket for us. Wayne Madsen was very accurate, Matt Critchley more expensive but was targeted by Duckett as a danger man. He took the key wicket of Wakely though and played his part.

Above all the two senior seamers bowled splendidly. Rampaul has rediscovered his mojo in the past two matches, while Olivier has done very well throughout this competition. He has run in hard, bowled accurately and done what you want your overseas seamer to do.

The team supported the bowlers well in the field and the win was achieved with plenty to spare. Once again I thought the skipper handled his attack very well and I continue to be impressed by the counsel of the leadership group between overs. There's a real brains trust going on out there and I would give a special shout out to Daryn Smit, who continually offered words of encouragement and advice to Hamidullah Qadri and ensured in doing so that the young player was fully integrated into the side.

In closing, we're top of the section with two games to go, at home to Lancashire on Sunday and then Nottinghamshire away next Thursday.

Both will be tough games against good sides, but we are playing some very good cricket at present and need fear no one.

Unless things go radically awry, if we win one of them, we will be in the quarter-finals and that would be a fine achievement. It would also be their just desserts for playing some very good, positive and aggressive cricket.

Well done gentlemen. Top effort today.


  1. I agree with everything you say about this game, with one important exception. It was a calm, thought-out and very professional performance, although I can't understand why a side with Northants' strengths choose to play on pitches like this.

    The important exception is that I think we need to win both to qualify from the group stage, because of the way other fixtures fall. You'd expect Worcs will beat both Northants and Warwickshire to reach 12 points. You'd expect that Yorks will beat Lancs and Northants to reach 11 points, and Warks to beat Leics to reach 10 points. Finally, you'd expect Notts to beat Durham to reach 9 points before they play us. So, we could beat Lancs but lose to Notts to finish on 10 points, leaving Worcs top with 12, then Yorks and Notts with 11. Of course, others in the leading group could drop points, but we have the toughest finish of all of them.

    1. You are right notoveryet but this is such a close group you cannot call many matches.
      Certainly I could see several of those go the other way.
      All we can do is focus on winning ours. If we do, we qualify. If we don't..only ourselves to blame!

  2. Fantastic result. I wasn’t so confident at halfway as figured Northants would be used to pitches like that however, I needent have worried. Disciplined bowling performance and pleased to see Qadri play. Annoyed me seeing seamers get hammered and I am sat at home thinking Palladio and Qadri wouldn’t be getting tonked so badly. Good to see us make changes due to the conditions. I agree with notiveryet I did the same thing last night with the fixtures. The exception I have is lancs v Yorks is not guaranteed these matches mean a lot and both teams will be going for it regardless of the situation in the group. Fingers crossed. Main thing is let’s win Sunday and see where we are. We can’t worry about others. Win both games and we are probably in a semi final RR permitting.

    1. Agreed Mark, but winning toss there was key, I reckon.

      Then playing very well!

  3. Good win yesterday PF.
    Team well handled by the skipper, with everyone responding.

    I don't think any game in this division can be taken for granted. There are some tricky ties, but the best way to be sure of qualification for us is to win the two we have left.

    We are a good team, with good options despite the loss of Luis Reece to injury.

  4. Top of the Group! Another fine effort in the One Day Cup yesterday Peakfan. The hard work put in by the team and backroom staff over the winter is really showing now. Watching the club social media films of net sessions and training over the winter months you could clearly see that this was a highly talented squad who could cause a few surprises in County Cricket this season. Just to pick up on one of your recent points on Ben Slater. I really think a big reason for our success this year has been his outstanding form. All successful teams need a mix of local talent and watching him progress from a youth player to the fine first team player he is now has been very enjoyable. For the club to keep progressing we need to keep players like this (note the problems our local friends at Leicestershire continually have with talent leaving for nearby Nottinghamshire and the resulting consequences). Slater is an extremely important player across all formats for me now and I hope that new deal is announced as soon as possible. James


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