Tuesday, 12 April 2011


Day 4: Gloucestershire 343 & 146 - 3 beat hapless Derbyshire 157 & 331 by 7 wickets

Points: Glos 21, Useless Derby 3.

Who doubted the boys then? With the score very quickly 34 for 3 the boys at Glos cricket radio clearly feared the worst and decided that they would broadcast at a volume only a super sensitive dog would be able to hear! But captain Gidman managed to not be lbw early on and Ian 'the Scouser' Cockbain showed excellent application to see Glos to a comfortable victory. I never doubted it. Honest!

We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that this seems to be an even poorer Derbyshire than the one that finished bottom of division 2 last season. But for a team with 5 debutants this was an excellent result.

Unlike last season's collection of individuals who never gelled as a team, this was a fine team effort with contributions from practically everyone. Even more encouraging was the fact that at the critical points in the match somebody stood up to be counted. Gidman and Batty when the score was 65 for 5 in the first innings. Norwell, to take 6 first innings wickets. Payne to blow away the tail in the second innings and ensure that the boys weren't chasing a score closer to 200. And finally the captain and Cockbain for steadying the ship and then getting the job done in the second innings.

Norwell and Payne have wickets in them. It is clear that, like pratcically all young bowlers, they will also go for runs but this is kind of acceptable as long as they pose a threat. At least they look better than Carl Greenidge.

The batting looks a little bit more shaky and it will be interesting to see who is dropped when O'Mish and Williamson come into the side. My own opinion is that if you are going to go with youth then at least go with it properly. Taylor should be dropped first and Coughtrie second. But I reckon this will be the opposite way round. Presuming that neither O'Mish or Williamson are going to open then Dent and Cockbain should be given a chance to cement their places.

Glos la la la criticised captain Gidders for 'hiding' at number 5. I'm not so sure. I think 5 feels more like his natural position. A place where he can come in against a soft ball and play his shots. I don't think his technique is up to being exposed to the new ball. My guess is that O'Mish will bat 3 with Williamson at 4, thus they wanted to get Gidders settled in at 5.

So, it's been a very encouraging start. With such a young team there will inevitably be worse performances than this to come but at least we have seen signs that this trust in youth has been driven by talent as much as by money.

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