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.