Derbyshire vs Durham: Day 1
As I came around Pentagon Island on the way to the Gateway car park today, the first drops of rain hit my windscreen and I feared the worst for the day’s cricket.
As it happened, I saw around ninety minutes of play, which was around eighty-five more than I expected at that point. I half expected Larry Grayson to pop out and say “What a grey day…”
In the time that remained, the sparse crowd was treated to a fine partnership by Wayne Madsen and Paul Borrington after the dismissal of Ben Slater. The scoring rate was artificially enhanced by some very erratic bowling from Durham that gifted us 24 extras on the first morning of a crucial game. Such generosity was hardly indicative of the top side in the country and of the two sides it was our lads who had the greater purpose.
Graham Onions bowled well and beat the bat on a few occasions, but Harrison strayed onto leg stump too many times and was punished by both batsmen with crisp shots.
It was business as usual from the skipper, who survived a difficult chance to slip, but otherwise batted with purpose and sound technique, while Paul Borrington played some good shots on either side of the wicket on his way to a largely untroubled unbeaten 30. His feet were moving especially well and although the Durham fielders were chirpy at any suggestion of a false shot (real or imagined) he remained unruffled and composed. It is a shame that play after lunch was truncated to one over as he looked in good shape and I would have enjoyed seeing more of both players later in the day.
I can’t manage down tomorrow as there’s things to do, but I will be back on Friday for what will hopefully be close to a full day of cricket.
You can’t really say after one session that one team is ahead in this game, as it is not far enough advanced, but I know which skipper will be the happier tonight.