Excellent start, now for the T20s
Posted in Domestic Cricket
It’s that time of year again when the red ball goes away for a while, the white one comes out as do the bigger bats and the crowds.
But as we embark on the Friends Life t20 campaign, it’s a very good time to take stock of the first part of the season and reflect back on what has happened thus far.
In my previous blog I wrote about how Derbyshire had made a fast start in the LV= County Championship and thankfully we have continued that form.
After nine championship games we are top of the Division Two table and in a very healthy position for when we resume that form of the game. I think it’s fair to say that we have surprised lots of people with our form, which is very pleasing for us.
Often we go into games as the underdog, which suits us fine and allows us to concentrate on the job in hand.
On the eve of a championship game I will always check the opposing team’s website in order to ascertain information on team selections. When I do that it makes me smile to read opponents call us the "surprise leaders of Division Two".
Now I’m not saying that opponents underestimate us but it does excite me to think about what we have achieved so far and people clearly didn’t expect us to start in the way we have.
For us to be top of the table, naturally there would have been some good individual performances both with the bat and the ball.
Jonathan Clare, Tim Groenewald, Tony Palladino and David Wainwright have all excelled so far, each taking plenty of wickets at an excellent rate and are well placed in the FTI MVP rankings.
With the bat Martin Guptill, Dan Redfern, Wayne Madsen and I are either side of the 500-run mark and are enjoying healthy rivalries in trying to be the leading run-scorer.
Personally, May was a really exciting month as I scooped the MVP player of the month award. It came as a shock when I found out I was leading the points list and I was delighted and proud to have won the award.
Our limited overs form, however, hasn’t been as good, winning just one of our first five CB40 matches. That has frustrated us as we know we can do much better and going into the Twenty20 campaign we want to put many things right and start well with our first game against Lancashire.
We have a young side but with recent acquisitions of Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Usman Khawaja we are hoping that we can do well in this year’s competition.
Rana has been brought in with a wealth of experience in the shorter form and Usman will be with us for the remainder of the season bringing his elegant free-flowing stroke play with him.
We know it won’t be easy in a tough North Group but we can draw on our achievements from the start of the season and take them forward into this exciting phase of the game.
In my career so far I’ve been lucky to have played with many fine players and some very funny characters but none have been funnier than Jake Needham.
He is a guy that is great to play with and to have in the changing room as he is so fast and quick-witted and makes everybody laugh. He is a fine cricketer too, an off-spinning all-rounder, and I used to love standing next to him at slip as he used to make the time fly by.
Jake has recently made the decision to call time on his playing career and has taken up a post in the club’s marketing department, which I’m sure he’s very excited about.
I know I won’t be the only person to miss him on the field but I am delighted that he is still going to be around the place. A major part of Jake’s new role is to try and increase the attendances at Twenty20 cricket at the County Ground by raising the club’s profile through Twitter.
As a new member of Twitter myself I as well as the other lads are regularly tweeting to help our former colleague and the club out.
Follow me @wjdurston3.#missyouJake, #gofalcons.