If the primary objective of a pre-season to tour to warmer climes is to allow the playing squad to practice, train and play in a warm, and virtually guaranteed rain-free environment, then the objective was met the moment the tour was booked.
The prevailing weather conditions back in Derbyshire wouldn’t have allowed the players to train and play outdoors so the logic of travelling to the Caribbean makes sense on so many levels.
Pre-season overseas training is nothing new; as long ago as 1993 Derbyshire went to Bermuda and in the early part of this century, Derbyshire’s warm weather training took place in Portugal. But the tours to Barbados over the last 4 years have become a regular feature of Derbyshire’s season whilst at the same time growing into something of a county cricket travelling circus. Six counties have been in Barbados and several more are in South Africa and it can only be a matter of time before all 18 counties travel abroad before the season begins.
Derbyshire have just one more day of practice and training here in Barbados, and Wednesday saw the players take to the field in a semi-competitive game for the final time on this tour.
After Nottinghamshire had posted a formidable 386 in just over 87 overs on Tuesday, it was the turn of the Derbyshire batsmen to enjoy some time at the crease. There is still some cricket scheduled to be played pre-season in England, but these conditions – warm and dry – offered a perfect opportunity for the batsmen.
Wayne Madsen, batting for the first time on tour, opened with Billy Godleman in what is likely to be Derbyshire’s opening partnership come April 10th, and both batted confidently until Godleman pulled a Phillips delivery behind square leg where James Taylor took a good catch diving forwards. Godleman made 15 and his dismissal brought Ben Slater to the crease. At the Kensington Oval at the weekend the young left-hander batted sensibly and with no shortage of strokes during his two innings, and here he did likewise.
Slater was more than happy to leave anything that didn’t need to be played, however, waiting for the safer options for scoring on either side of the wicket until, after batting for 65 minutes he edged a delivery from Ball to Read behind the wicket. Slater’s first Barbados tour has been more than useful.
Madsen meanwhile, looked as though he had been batting for weeks, rather than having had no significant batting practice for some time. He soon got into his stride with several well-timed off drives and a couple of forcing square drives whenever the bowlers dropped short. He was adjudged lbw to Gurney having just passed 50.
Hughes again batted well utilising his reach and power as he struck 6 fours in his 31 before edging a delivery from Fletcher to Read. Both his innings at North Stars, and especially his hundred a week ago, make his case for inclusion in Derbyshire’s opening game at Edgbaston a strong one.
Durston rarely looks anything than stylish and his cover driving was to the fore from early in his innings, while his straight hitting off the spinner, White, was exemplary. He reached his 2nd half century of the tour from 49 balls with six 4s and two 6s shortly before tea.
However, nothing prepared anyone for the fireworks after tea – having reached 70, Durston struck the final 5 balls of a Graeme White’s over for 6 to reach a hugely entertaining century off 73 balls, at which point he turned on his heel and marched off, retired out for 100.
Coincidentally, rain began to fall for the first time on the tour as Durston left the field and the rest of the players followed him as play was halted for 37 minutes.
Upon the resumption, Derbyshire's two 'keepers came to the crease. Tom Poynton and Richard Johnson appear to have all to play for, with both impressing so far both with the bat and behind the stumps. Poynton scored 37 including four 4s and a six before Johnson and Wainwright batted out time leaving Derbyshire on 293-6 (including one retired out) when stumps were drawn.
The players return to North Stars on Thursday for their final training day of the tour before flying home on Friday. A tour assessment will appear on the website in due course.
To see the action photographs from the game please go to the gallery at http://www.derbyshireccc.com/dccc/index.php/component/igallery/dccc/barbados-the-journey/gallery-11-v-notts-day-2?Itemid=479
The 2012 Annual Report and 2013 Year Book is being distributed to the Club’s 2012 Membership this week.
The 32 page publication contains details of every game of the 2012 LV= County Championship season as well as details of the forthcoming Annual General Meeting and Special General Meeting.
The new 32 page format represents a reduction from the 64 page publication of the previous year after the Club took the decision not to include the section of historical records; content that will be published online in due course.
The Club acknowledges that some members will be disappointed with the new slim-line format.
Derbyshire’s players will become very familiar with their Nottinghamshire counterparts during 2013. Their t20 games at Derby and TrentBridge are a regular part of the county campaign, but the two sides haven’t met in 4-day cricket since 2007 when Nottinghamshire were promoted behind Somerset.
The two sides are currently playing in a 2-day game at North Stars, the Derbyshire base in the north of Barbados, in what is Derbyshire’s final game of the tour. After the game concludes on Wednesday, there will be one final training day before the tour party heads home on Friday afternoon.
While Nottinghamshire have some absentees from the tour – Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann amongst them – they have still travelled with some fine players and are second favourites for the Division 1 title with certain bookmakers.
Derbyshire’s coaches and players are looking forward to the opportunity to play a higher standard of cricket, and this warm-up game will give them some idea of what to expect in Division 1.
The spearhead of Derbyshire’s pace attack in 2013 will again be Tim Groenewald and Tony Palladino and they opened the bowling with 12 exemplary overs between them, conceding just 13 runs each, with Groenewald getting the wicket of Hales, caught behind by Richard Johnson. They didn’t bowl again suggesting that they and their coaches are already satisfied with their workload during this tour.
Plans for all the bowlers to have a good work-out were thrown into disarray before play started with both Mark Footitt and Peter Burgoyne suffering from stomach upsets, and with Jon Clare also nursing a knee injury it offered a good opportunity for Ali Evans and Matt Higginbottom, in particular, to bowl some overs. Turner, Whiteley and Durston were also used sparingly, bowling just 9 overs between them.
Evans took a wicket early on when he found the edge of Wessels bat and Godleman took a smart catch in the gulley, and after James Taylor had made a good-looking 43, Higginbottom grabbed his prize wicket; Wainwright taking the catch. Wes Durston, back after injury, took the wicket of Lumb, caught by Higginbottom.
During the afternoon session, Chris Read made a determined and effective 73 – a fine player for many years with 22 first class centuries, he cut, pulled and drove without offering a chance until Wainwright induced an airy drive and Evans held onto a skier at backward point.
Initially batting in caps against the all-spin attack of Hughes and Wainwright, Mullaney and Franks batted confidently during the afternoon session, and went into overdrive after tea, lofting the ball over the boundaries as the scoring rate rose despite several bowling changes by Wayne Madsen, back in the side after injury.
Mullaney, who has played twice as many limited over games for Notts as first class matches, struck 7 sixes and 7 fours in his 104-ball hundred before he retired out for 101, reaching his century with a huge 6 over side mid-wicket off Chesney Hughes.
Franks reached his fifty from 88 balls with a cover driven 4 off Evans and promptly retired out, while his replacement, Ben Phillips skied an Evans delivery to Tom Knight who took the catch at mid-off.
Wicket-keeping duties were once again shared by Richard Johnson and Tom Poynton and it was the latter who ran out Fletcher from the outfield in the 85th over and the former who stumped White off Hughes off the last ball of the day.
With 10 wickets having fallen, the umpires called time with Nottinghamshire having scored 386 from 87.3 overs; Ali Evans the only man to take more than one wicket, finishing with 2-78.
Wednesday will be an important day for the batsmen - Madsen has yet to bat on this tour and will look forward to time at the crease, while Godleman, Hughes, Durston and Whiteley - plus both 'keepers - will want to keep their good form going. Slater may also get a chance with Redfern still missing, as may Burgoyne if he has recovered.
For action photography from the game please go to the gallery - http://www.derbyshireccc.com/dccc/index.php/component/igallery/dccc/barbados-the-journey/gallery-10-v-notts-day-1?Itemid=479
Monday saw the playing staff given a day off in Barbados with an opportunity for relaxation and recreation. However, as the sun began to set just after 5pm, Derbyshire captain, Wayne Madsen was busy in the makeshift outdoor gym which Strength and Conditioning Coach, Luke Storey, has created in one of the communal seating areas beside the beach.
Speaking after a full week on the island, Madsen spoke in glowing terms about his squad, highlighting the efforts of the younger players in the t20 games at the weekend; “I thought we played pretty well – with several senior players out, others stepped in and it was great to see Ben Slater batting in that sort of environment, and Ross Whiteley batting so superlatively.”
“Both ‘keepers had a good innings too, plus we saw some really quick bowling from Turner and Footitt. The win over Warwickshire was a great effort against one of the leading sides in the country.”
Tuesday sees Derbyshire back at North Stars for a 2-day game against Nottinghamshire and Madsen and Karl Krikken have already agreed with their opponents’ Head Coach, Mick Newell that Derbyshire will start the first day in the field. The format for each day is fluid, with both sides bowling 90 overs each over the two days, but not necessarily all on one day.
The game will start at 10am local time (2pm UK time) and Madsen is hopeful of playing after a groin injury; “It’s been frustrating, but I’ve been working on fitness and I’m pretty sure I’ll be ok for tomorrow.”
Wes Durston is also likely to play, although Jon Clare is still doubtful with a knee injury.
Paul Borrington’s tour is over, however; he flies home in the next 24 hours after suffering a fractured cheekbone - which may require surgery - in the warm-up before the game against Warwickshire on Saturday in which he top-scored with 24.
Dan Redfern’s hand injury will also preclude him from taking any part in the game against Nottinghamshire but he will remain with the tour party.
A full report on the game against Nottinghamshire will appear here tomorrow.
Nottinghamshire proved too strong for Derbyshire in the Barbados t20 Cup Final on Sunday night.
Derbyshire earned their place in the final after their excellent victory earlier in the day against Warwickshire but were outplayed by their East Midlands rivals Nottinghamshire under the floodlights at the Kensington Oval.
In a balmy evening and in front of several hundred spectators – the majority holidaymakers from the UK – Derbyshire won the toss and decided to bat on a pitch that had already been used for three games.
Against Warwickshire the first innings score was 153; a couple of hours later Yorkshire mustered 128 in their first innings, and then in the Plate Final Northants couldn’t even reach three figures. The conclusion was that the pitch was getting slower and more difficult to score runs on.
Early wickets fell but 56 for 3 after ten overs was a reasonable platform for a challenging score, so it was frustrating when another 3 wickets fell in quick succession to leave Derbyshire on 60 for 6 after 12 overs.
However, Richard Johnson – inventive, quick feet and always looking to score off every ball – and Tony Palladino added 57 in the final 8 overs, actually doubling the score before the innings closed on 114-6.
Johnson made an energetic 35 not out while Palladino finished with an unbeaten 19.
Although low scores have been defended in t20 cricket – indeed, Derbyshire defended 111 at Northampton a couple of years ago - the feeling was that Derbyshire would probably have to take 10 wickets to prevent a Nottinghamshire win. And so it proved as Hales and Lumb put on 69 for the first wicket in 8 overs before the former was caught by Groenewald off Burgoyne and the latter removed by Hughes. James Taylor, however, quickly reminded Derbyshire of his prodigious talent.
Not for the first time, the diminutive batsman put Derbyshire’s bowlers to the sword with a quick fire 32 from 16 balls before Mullaney hit a huge six off Hughes to end the game with 39 balls and 7 wickets in hand.
Derbyshire were well beaten but the side was missing a handful of capped players and the experience of these 3 t20 games will not be lost on these young players as they enter the 2013 English season.
Come June, and Karl Krikken will expect to include Madsen, Durston, Redfern, Chanderpaul, Wainwright, Clare and another overseas player in his t20 side, but these trio of t20 games gave him an opportunity to see what the other players could do.
Borrington and Slater didn’t look out of place when they batted, and both wicket-keepers produced a useful innings at the Kensington Oval and both kept well, too. Whiteley demonstrated his awesome power and stroke play and all the bowlers had their moments.
Monday is the first and only rest day of the tour, then its back to North Stars for a two day game against Nottinghamshire. Full reports and photographs will be featured on the website.
Derbyshire’s progress to the final owes much to a fine all-round performance by Ross Whiteley against Warwickshire here this morning. The powerful left-hander scored a rapid 63, including 6 sixes and then took 2 wickets for 5 runs in the only over he bowled, removing both Jim Troughton and Rikki Clarke.
As the game boiled to a thrilling conclusion, Mark Turner bowled a mightily impressive final over to ensure Derbyshire prevailed less than 16 hours after the same opponents had defeated them in a preliminary game at the 3C’s.
Their opponents in the final are still unknown at the time of writing as Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire are currently contesting their semi-final at the Kensington Oval whilst the Derbyshire party spend the afternoon relaxing at the hotel complex.
However, regardless of who makes it to the final, they will certainly be familiar with them; Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire have been perennial opponents in the Northern Group ever since the UK t20 tournament began in 2003. Indeed, Derbyshire’s three highest ever t20 batting totals have all been against Yorkshire and many will remember Wes Durston’s spectacular hundred at Trent Bridge a couple of years ago.
Yorkshire are the reigning UK t20 champions and Nottinghamshire are frequent visitors to t20 Finals Day so whichever team Derbyshire face will represent a huge challenge.
Nonetheless, after a defeat last night, the young Derbyshire side – minus Durston, Redfern, Madsen, Clare and co – have still managed to defeat the mighty Warwickshire and rightfully take their place in the final.
There will be updates via Twitter and Facebook throughout the game which start at 7pm tonight (11pm UK time) – (please note that there are varying start times being suggested, but the earliest is 7pm), with a full match report to follow on the website on Monday.
After their defeat to Warwickshire at the 3C’s on Saturday night, the opportunity for revenge could not have come sooner. Once the final match had concluded at 11pm on Saturday it became clear that Derbyshire’s battling defeat had actually earned them a place in the Barbados t20 Cup semi-final against their opponents from the previous evening.
Again Warwickshire won the toss and inserted Derbyshire who found runs hard to come by in the opening overs. Godleman again opening the batting but with Durston absent his partner was Hughes.
After a couple of early wickets, Ben Slater came in at number 4 and batted well for 15 before Ross Whiteley took the game by the scruff off the neck smashing a wonderful 63 which included 6 massive sixes. His straight driving was magnificent and not many players hit more cleanly – or further – as Whiteley when he is in this sort of form.
Tom Poynton joined Whiteley in a vital 50 partnership scoring 35 not out to propel Derbyshire to a useful 153.
Warwickshire began steadily and Chopra and Troughton batted well for the 2nd wicket without every really accelerating and found themselves falling behind the required rate.
When Whiteley came into the attack the game was in the balance. However, he bowled one over and took 2 wickets for 5 runs removing Troughton and danger man Rikki Clarke.
Turner bowled a superb final over which included 3 dot balls to see Derbyshire to a 2 run victory and a place in the final at 7.30pm on Sunday night (11.30pm UK time).
Despite Derbyshire’s defeat to Warwickshire last night, their performance was enough to earn them a place in the Barbados t20 Cup semi final as the best loser – and another game against Warwickshire.
It was only late last night when news of Northamptonshire’s heavy defeat to Nottinghamshire was texted through to the Derbyshire management team that Karl Krikken and co was informed of their fate – and that their semi final would start at 9am (local time).
So having breakfasted early, the tour party were on the coach to the ground at 7.30am for the short journey to the Kensington Oval
All games today are taking place at the Kensington Oval, Bridgetown and if Derbyshire win, the final will start at around 7.30pm (local time) 11.30pm (UK time)
There are two changes to the side that lost yesterday with Durston and Borrington replaced by Slater and Palladino. The side, therefore, is; Godleman, Slater, Hughes, Whiteley, Johnson, Poynton, Burgoyne, Groenewald, Turner, Footitt and Palladino. Tim Groenewald will captain the side.
Full updates will appear on Twitter and Facebook with a match report and images here on the Derbyshire website
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