Saturday, 6 August 2016

3aaa County Ground – Derbyshire CCC

1st August 2016

Derbyshire v Leicestershire
(Royal London One-Day Cup)

From being a chap with little interest in cricket I have, over the last couple of years or so, developed if not quite a love of the game, then certainly a healthy interest in the sport.  Goodness, I even purchased my first ever Wisden a few months back.  I still end up generally supporting whoever England is playing (immature, I know), but have also found myself following the fortunes of Leicestershire CCC.  Now this is not some tagging-on-to-Leicester glory-hunting exercise - my support predates City’s rise to fame - but stems I think from learning about that two year spell during which Leics failed to win a single County Championship match.  Reading about the club’s woes at the time made me think “Now here is a club which requires all the support it can get”.

I attended a day of a match during this woeful period last summer, so felt I was at least tangentially emotionally committed to the cause.  Monitoring their results since, I feel I have almost got to know some of the players:  the unapologetically well-nourished Mark Cosgrove, the ever-dependable Ben Raine, and Irishman Niall O’Brien (a wicketkeeper who comes complete with shovel for occasionally digging his side out of holes).  Not forgetting my favourite:  the endearingly goofy-looking Charlie Shreck.

I have since decided to attempt to attend at least one of the club’s matches each season.  Thus it was this afternoon found me at Derbyshire’s 3aaa County Ground for this Royal London One-Day Cup encounter.  This was the final match in the group stage for both clubs and, in theory anyway, either could with a win sneak into the quarter-finals - although their respective poor run rates made this outcome rather unlikely.

Welcome to the etc......

The 3aaa Pavilion

Panorama of the 3aaa County Ground, Derbyshire CCC

It was Derbyshire who chose to bat first and, despite the best actions of opener Billy Godleman, for most of their innings looked as if they may struggle to reach 200.  When Rob Sayer bowled Godleman for 66 to leave the hosts on 117-4 with just over 20 overs remaining, things looked bright for the visitors.  But into the fray came Alex Hughes and Neil Broom to keep the run rate ticking over, with the latter cutting loose in the final few overs eventually boosting his side’s total to 259, before falling to the second last ball of the innings.  Shiv Thakot ambled out onto the pitch to prod the final ball for a single to leave the home side with a total of 260.

“Time will tell if that is a good score or not” stated the worried chap beside me.  But most folks appeared more concerned with the intentions of the approaching dark clouds.  “There is a just a brief shower expected between 5  and 6 PM”, I smugly asserted, having scrutinised the BBC Weather web site repeatedly in the days leading up to the match.  But accessing the site once more, I was dismayed to note the scamps had drastically amended their forecast, and were now predicting persistent rain to linger throughout the evening.
And so it proved: just two balls into Leicestershire’s innings, the drizzle evolved into a downpour and that was that.  No Result = Both sides eliminated from the competition. 

First ball of the day: Clint McKay to Ben Slater

Derbyshire's captain Wes Durston gets off the mark with a four.

Billy Godleman & Niall O'Brien

3aaa County Ground looking towards the pavilion

3aaa County Ground looking towards the work-in-progress Media Centre

The 3aaa County Ground

Clint McKay & Ben Raine ponder their next tactic to get rid of Wes Durston...

...who obligingly hits a catch to Cameron Delport

Panorama of the 3aaa County Ground, Derbyshire CCC

Elite Performance Centre

Niall O'Brien

Billy Godleman

Derbyshire v Leicestershire - August 2016

Derbyshire's Alex Hughes

Roll out the barrel, we'll have a barrel of fun.
Roll out the barrel, we've got the blues on the run.
On come the lights as the clouds gather.

Mark Cosgrove

Am fairly sure this is Jimmy Neesham

Both Neesham (if it is he) and Neil Broom look a touch concerned here, but this one has gone for four.

Clint McKay does not know it yet, but he is about to be hit for six by Jimmy Neesham

You would have thought whoever was designing the scoreboard would
have ensured there were sufficient characters available
for the whole of the home team name.

Panorama of the 3aaa County Ground, Derbyshire CCC

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