Sunday, 8 July 2018

Derbyshire v Worcestershire Vitality Blast

Derbyshire 135-9 (Dal 35, Slater 33)

Worcestershire 136-4 (Guptill 65, Rampaul 2-24, Ferguson 2-25)

Worcestershire won by six wickets

I thought Derbyshire did much better today, against the side that top the division, than they did against Lancashire the other night.

We still lost, but to take the game to the penultimate over when we only managed a paltry 135-9 was a pretty good effort.

I thought Ravi Rampaul bowled splendidly and Lockie Ferguson was not far behind him, putting in a few balls of searing pace. Each was rewarded with two wickets and although Wahab Riaz was wicketless, he bowled with fine control. The attack looked a handful, and mention should be made of a good spell by Alex Hughes too. Make no mistake, Worcestershire's top three is as strong as any in the country and you could even extend that to the top six. Good batsmen keep coming.

Matt Critchley and Wayne Madsen were expensive and the former doesn't look himself at present, either with bat or ball. Yet for all the good efforts of those named, Worcestershire never got out of second gear and really didn't need to.

For the second game running our innings was a dysfunctional mess. Critchley holed out after finding the field several times, MacLeod played a shot that would have been deemed genius had it worked but just looked sloppy, while Madsen top edged and was out third ball. So heavily reliant are we on Wayne that the game looked lost at that point.

Ben Slater batted well until he walked past one from D'Oliveira, while Gary Wilson made 28 at a run a ball but never hinted at playing an innings that might give us a chance, nor of scoring quickly enough to do so.

The one bright spot was the debutant, Anuj Dal, who confirmed the good impression he had made on me in the second team with strokes of wristy improvisation that pleased the aesthetes and lovers of improvisation alike. He must have cemented a place in the side with this display and, on his 22nd birthday. looked a player with a decent future.

Most telling today was the omission of Hardus Viljoen, a big call by John Wright, but one against which it is impossible to raise an argument. He was warming up, so was presumably not injured, but I said the other night that I failed to see a role for him in this team and stick by it.

Omitting the highest paid player in the club seemed to bring others together and the one gratifying aspect of the defeat was the team spirit shown, that made a very good opposition work hard for a modest target.

Played two, both at home, lost two. Not the form of a side that is going far in this competition, to be honest, but I am gradually writing off this season as one where too much is happening behind the scenes for my peace of mind.

Every day seems to bring something else that is newsworthy, but sadly not cricket-related, whether it is queues for beers, Twitter spats or an employee being paid less than minimum wage. That's without mentioning the departure of the Head of Cricket. We don't have far to look for trouble right now and it keeps finding us.

It is worrying and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.


Mark said...

A complete shambles Peakfan, this result looks a lot closer than it actually was,we were hammered again. There's no quick runs in this side I've said it a million times, Madsen is reliable but can't smack a 70 off 30 balls anymore, neither can anybody else. We really should've looked for a big hitter rather than bringing in Riaz or Ferguson, missed a trick big time. Confidence is rock bottom, and where our next victory is coming from heaven only knows.

Gary Spencer said...

Why did we lose this game and the last game. It's how we playing the 1st power-play. You can't have 16 dot balls in the 1st power-play. Last year Donmic Cork mentioned how they where drilling this into the team the dot balls are huge in 20/20. I can't remember last year us scoring many 1st power plays under 50 to be honest.

I actually don't think batting should be the issue as I think MacLeod got the ability to cover Reece in this format. My question would be over Smit and Wilson to be honest I don't think we can play both of them. I think Wilson batting should be questioned as both games he has scored to slow for the situation he has faced when coming into bat. It's easy to type this and in fairness I am not facing the balls he has so this may be harsh criticism.

I would like to see McKiernan,Dal, Bodrick and Quadri have a good opportunities now in the 20/20. I really don't see us progressing as Warkishire, Lancashire, Notts and Worcester look a total different class to our team with all due respects to Derbyshire. I really do believe this now could help us work out which academy players can step up to pressures of county cricket. It is a very tough introduction 20/20 but we could end up with 2 new 1st team players hopefully who will be selected for the county championship team after this format. Wright and Cork would be great coaches to have at the start of you career. I am sure in their time they have seen many players blossom into fine professionals.

Phil said...

Quite agree, Peakfan. One step forward, two back should be the club motto. A bitterly disappointing start to the t20 - last season we won the first 2. As I've commented before, thus is a penny-pinching regime and the undercurrents of discontent are very concerning. At this moment we are administratively shambolic and someone at the top needs to get a firm grip urgently and communicate clearly to the supporters. Otherwise another Derbyshire Crisis looms - and this could be a big'un.

The floor is yours, Mr Chairman...

Phil C

TIm, Chesterfield said...

I missed the twitter spat and the underpaid employees. Can anyone expand?

Mark Neve said...

Shambolic again. Teams are onto us. Let us bat first to a sub sat hard score and knock them off. Sure this was a better effort but we owe a lot to the young lad Dal scoring well to get us to a score that was substandard rather than embarrassing.

I would suggest we get him up the order a little bit.

Critchley, I always had him down as a finisher able to clear the ropes towards the end of the game and nothing I've seen here will make me change my mind. We have been done over by two openers in these first two games and annoyingly by one many of us on here called for. Whether we could afford him who knows but the fact was Guptill was never an option when we decided to pursue bowler after bowler. We have Sharif on the sidelines and he won't get a chance unless Rampaul needs a rest at some point.

Smit I think needs to be dropped.

We need something like this, we can't waste out power play with so many dot balls again and would suggest bumping MacLeod to opener and Wayne to 3, fact is way we bat a number 4 can be in first over anyway so it makes no difference in this format whether its 3 or 4.

Wilson c & w/k

This season is starting to lose me. The politics. The performances. The muddled thinking. The lack of leadership. The lack of being comopetitive for more than a few sessions per match. I will keep reading the great blog but forgive me if I avoid posting for a while for fear of repeating myself.

If we want to be successful we need to look at the following:

Off field leadership and coaching
The captaincy
The leadership group seemingly doing the same thing constantly and expecting different results

Until the clique at the top is unsettled and questioned we have no hope IMO of being anything than other than also rans.

I expect my opinion is not popular but its what I see through my eyes and I respect everyones opinion however they see matters,

Marky Mark said...

Just seen our next two fixtures are against Yorkshire and Notts. Any chance of qualification will be completely dead after these two matches. Played four lost four would be the obvious scenario here, we need somebody to step up to the plate pretty damn quickly.

Anonymous said...

Worcs were under no pressure to kick on, hence the 'good' bowling performance, At this early stage NRR, isnt worried about, getting point on the board is. Worcs took no risks and took it easy. You cannot judge the attack when the oppo are under no pressure to attack.

High Peak

Dave said...

Myself and quite a few other regular supporters are of the opinion that Viljoen has some sort of permanent injury which is affecting his bowling , his run up to the wicket seems shorter and slower thereby contributing to his erratic action.If this is not the case then his current performances do not align with his salary level

Anonymous said...

Batting needs a shake up- bring Chesney back to open because we need someone who can actually clear the fielders during the powerplay, move Critchley down into the middle order and take out Wilson who is painfully slow and as immobile as a wheelie bin in the field.
The bowling was much improved from Friday, but having said that Worcestershire didn’t seem to be in top gear.

Not a good start.


Sam said...

We certainly bowled and fielded better than on Friday, but conspired to bat even worse. Critchley is horribly out of form, Slater can't score quicker then a run a ball against spinners, Hughes always looks like he might do something daft (but did bowl well), Wilson can tick over without ever taking away the oppositions control, and Smit seems all but worked out by the oppositions. There's really nowhere to go with what we have available, but I daren't think how badly Chesney Hughes must be playing in the 2s to not be warranting a chance.

To have a 12 over spell (overs 3-14) where we hit only 2 fours is abysmal, and I can't think there will be many teams choosing to bat first against us when we bat this slowly.

Anonymous said...

Despite our poor form, we could easily beat Notts or Yorks as thats the nature of the best of T20, if one person has a good day anyone can beat anyone.

High Peak

Anonymous said...

Well 2 matches into the T20 Blast & let's be fair it's been very poor.

Granted Sundays performance was better than Fridays effort, but sadly we are a long way off being a competitive team.

If the club want "bum on seats" for all types of cricket then it's the quality on the field that matters, people like winning teams.

T20 is about a total on the board & then the chase. The chase involves the crowd, brings excitement & people go away thinking that was worth the money.
Sadly I've gone away thinking that was not good as the result was on the cards early into the 2nd innings.

There was no atmosphere yesterday in my opinion, Sweet Caroline, Hey June etc was totally flat!

This is my first year of being a member & to be quite frank I cannot see me renewing it for next season.

I do not expect to see the team win every game, but what I do expect is that team is competitive, will perform as team & not rely on the usual people to perform each time.
Derbyshire needs Crickets Gareth Southgate!!

Lion said...

At the members forum, John Wright said that in T20 the top four batsmen are key and this was illustrated well in this contest. I thought Slater did OK but he didn't seem to be getting enough of the strike and became clearly frustrated and was out running up the pitch to D'Oliveira who's a clever bowler in this format. Wilson has got some criticism but he came in when we were struggling and did steady the ship - where he failed was that he couldn't increase the momentum. Great innings by Dal who alongside Ferguson's bowling for me give some hope for the future.
Didn't see the Lancashire game but like Worcs they look to be are a long way ahead of us. Probably not too many options for Wednesday but I'd leave Smit out and give Chesney Hughes a go - at least it will make the batting look stronger. The four seamers all put in good stints although Worcs were never under pressure. Anyone got any thoughts about giving Quadri a game?

Anonymous said...

The T20 season is over Peakfan without a HUGE improvement from everybody involved. You look at the forthcoming fixtures and wonder where a win will come from on this form. I was prepared to give the “expert” coaches the benefit of the doubt in opting for mainly bowlers as overseas signings in the T20 but that is now looking completely the wrong decision. As I kept saying at the start of the summer – to progress in this competition you need big hitters at the front of the innings who can regularly clear the ropes. It is no surprise that Worcestershire are flying in the group with Guptill at the top of their order. As other readers have suggested, they should really be looking to bring Chesney Hughes into the first XI if he is available to try and stop what is now an alarming slide. We are rapidly approaching a crisis situation with results and back room management issues derailing what had been a promising start to the year. It all seems self-inflicted too. I don’t like to single out individual players for criticism as you just don’t know what is happening privately (injuries, personal situations, for example). However, there are now several players in this team who are just not good enough and moving forward either new players need to be signed or more academy players given opportunities. What a great shame. James

notoveryet said...

Two defeats out of two isn't fatal. With so many new players, it was going to take time to settle down, and we now have a few days to re-set before Notts. Worcs are a very good settled team with everyone playing in a role and position they are familiar with, and yesterday's defeat was closer than it looked. Some lessons (not least on the catering side) were learned from Friday, and if others are learned from this game, we can still challenge.

The bowling was a great improvement, as was the fielding and positivity of the team, but the Madsen tactic has run its course, as batsmen now attack him from the off without letting him settle into dot balls. I wasn't impressed by the decision to give Hughes 4 overs either. The batsmen were able to milk him without being threatened and while it looks OK in the scorebook, we needed to take wickets. By contrast, Critchley looks expensive but beat the bat several times and on another day could have had two or three wickets. It's symbolic of Wilson's leaden and unimaginative captaincy that he took off a bowler who was threatening and kept on one who was being taken for exactly the run rate they needed. Otherwise, Ferguson and Riaz were very sharp and showed the benefit of a few overs under their belts, and Rampaul gave us more flashes of how good he can still be.

The fact that Guptill struggled (by his standards) for 60 balls showed that it wasn't an easy pitch to play fluently on. But still, our batting was awful, Dal aside.

He showed a deftness of touch and imagination that put the rest to shame, and could have got us to a more defendable total in the last couple of overs if not for Smit's poor game management. He came in with 13 balls left when Riaz would have probably been the better option for a more flexible captain than Wilson, got a single off the last ball of the 18th over to steal the strike from Dal, who had taken 16 off his previous 7 balls. He missed the first two balls of the next over and then was LBW smearing across the line, having wasted 3 balls. Dal was off strike for 10 balls going into the middle of the last over, and Smit's poor display led to a chain of events that maybe cost us 20 runs at the rate Dal was going.

Wilson stuck around, but it's been excruciating to watch him bat at times this year. He'd be more effective if he strapped his bat to his legs and held his pads in his hands, and while a run a ball doesn't look bad from the position he came into, it doesn't tell you how much he missed or played off an inside edge onto his pads.

Critchley looks inhibited batting up the order, as he was in the one day cup, and doesn't play shots with the conviction and power that he shows at 6 or 7 where he's scored most of his runs. He may adjust in time, but for now he's so important as one of our few really powerful strikers that he needs to bat in a position that suits his game. Slater did OK, but got bogged down after his boundaries in the second over, scoring only 6 from 11 balls in the rest of the powerplay overs and helping to build the pressure that got Macleod and Madsen out to impetuous shots.

30 off 6 overs in two successive matches tells its own story, and we need to reunite the partnership between Godleman and Slater that did so well through the one day cup, assuming there aren't other reasons for Godleman's omission apart from his championship form. He's a powerful striker and even if he doesn't always come off, he doesn't hang around eating up dot balls as Slater and Critchley have done.

That would allow Critchley to drop to 6, while Dal's performance justifies a move to 5. Hughes at least has a promise of hitting some boundaries that Wilson and Smit are incapable of, so one of Wilson or Smit has to go. On the assumption that Wilson stays as captain, it has to be Smit, although Wilson is a poor replacement as wicket-keeper and seems to be reluctant to do it and captain. beggars can't be choosers comes to mind though.