Durham v Derbyshire: day 1 review
Today could scarcely have gone better for Derbyshire, if I am honest.
We won the toss – as much a cause for a lap of honour as a win might be on this season’s events – then bowled tidily before Mark Footitt completed a classic top and tailing of an innings in taking career-best figures of 6-53.
It once again highlighted the enigma that he is. After receiving serious treatment in the T20, he returned to his best, bowling fast and swinging the ball to be nearly unplayable at times. If he could do that all the time, he could be an international quality bowler, because swing from that angle and at that pace is both difficult to face and very rare. To be fair to the lad, he has consistently taken wickets this summer and has reaped the rewards of a lot of hard work on his core. He is fitter and stronger than he has ever been and both the player and the strength/conditioning team deserve credit for his work this year.
There was good support from Tim Groenewald, while Wes Durston chipped in with two wickets as Durham scraped their way to 253 all out.
It was a decent total but no more than that. Derbyshire must now bat and bat, putting big runs on the board, conscious that the totally barmy regulations allow Graham Onions to return from training with England to take his place in the side before tea on the third day. No doubt the thought of facing one of the county circuit’s more deadly operators crossed their mind when a decision was made this morning, but the overcast conditions made bowling a worthwhile course of action. It could well swing tomorrow, of course and we will then see how we handle such conditions.