Dernbach looks to the future
Globe-trotting Jade Dernbach made the perfect start to his England year, by taking a wicket with his first ball today, and hopes to continue in that vein during the one-day internationals with Pakistan.
Dernbach had figures of three wickets for two runs at one stage as he and Steven Finn turned the warm-up fixture against England Lions into a mis-match at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Both fast bowlers finished with three wickets as the Lions were bowled out for 96 in under 29 overs; then, after a revised target of 230 was agreed, England coasted past that with 25 balls to spare, thanks to Alastair Cook’s 68 and Jonathan Trott’s 75 not out.
Dernbach reflected on his telling contribution, including knocking back Alex Hales’ off stump for a golden duck, with justified satisfaction.
“I hope it can continue,” he said, looking forward to the four-match one-day series against Pakistan - which will begin on Monday at the same venue.
“It was a nice way to start, to set the tone - and that’s a job we need to do in this series to be successful.
“The aim in any one-day cricket is to take early wickets. You’re giving yourself the best possible opportunity of slowing down the scoring rate. If we can keep doing that on a game-to-game basis, we’ll be all right.”
Dernbach discounted any concerns that this fixture, played during the day, might not be ideal preparation to take on Pakistan in four day-nighters.
“There are a few training sessions scheduled under lights,” he said. “It was just important we got used to the conditions, for guys who might not have played at this stadium before.
“Playing in the heat is always going to help to get the boys accustomed. So I think today was perfect for the guys.
“The aim of today was to get a run-out with all the boys together as a team, especially out here with the conditions. Then to get a victory like that is obviously impressive.”
“I’ve just come off the Lions, so got a few overs out there. So today was the icing on the cake, to get a few wickets,” he said.
“It’s going to be slightly different here, but spending a bit of time in the sub-continent is not going to do me any harm - getting that experience under my belt and trying to use it in all the best possible situations.”
ECB performance director David Parsons had to acknowledge that his young players concluded their winter programme with an uncompetitive performance.
“We were very much looking forward to it ... and we’re a little bit disappointed that we weren’t able to put up a better show,” he said. “Obviously, having to readjust the target at half-time wasn’t in the plan either.
“Some players will go away from today disappointed not to perform better, but a little bit more clued-up on what’s required to perform at that top level. But I guess that disappointment is tinged with some satisfaction, seeing Jade and Steve bowl so well.”