I’m not a devoted fan of the shorter game but since that’s the only option from the ECB for now (Tests can’t come soon enough!), I’m found at the County Ground Chelmsford for a 50 over one day (afternoon/evening to be precise) Royal London One Day Cup match of Essex v Derbyshire.
And we’re now into coloured clothing with Essex showing off their new ‘one day kit’ and sponsor – a blue which seems to glow – whilst Derbyshire appear in their pale duck egg blue colours. The match could offer more ‘blue on blue’ savagery when we’ve seen in political circles in the past few weeks – and probably still to come!
After Derbyshire’s dire efforts earlier this week the expectations are that they’ll collapse again and we’ll all be home by tea time.
Essex win the toss and decide to bowl – following that theory – and probably not what the club caterers nor the bars wanted. But Derbyshire prove the theory wrong.
But the other theory is that the one day game is very formulaic. In essence ‘bash and trash’ or ‘tip and run’ – bowlers are basically cannon fodder or providing an extended net! And so it proved.
Seemingly audiences demand to be ‘entertained’ and scoring runs is more important than any skill the bowler has! This means there are no nuances in this format but if that’s what people want, then provide it or rather is that what the broadcasters think that the viewers want since, after all, their megabucks keeps the whole game going!
On the field, Derbyshire have no qualms about setting off at a fast pace during the first ‘power play’ when bowlers just offer themselves up for sacrifice. Godleman soon goes trying to be too clever (35) but runs flow. From 64/1 Essex seem to have struck early and Derbyshire lose three wickets in no time at 117 and a fifth at 169, it seems that it’s more self-destruct than quality bowling.
Overall the Essex attack looks good on paper – after all these three (Porter, Snater and Beard) were on display during last weeks run fest on a poor cricket wicket. Twenty overs need to be found but Nijjar is learning and Westley and debutant Richards need to cover the rest. All fine in theory but when one of your front line attack has a bad day and goes for 10.5 an over, then you have even more problems.
And so it was. Derbyshire plunder their way to 318 with Guest and McKiernan each scoring 70+ at speed. It really looked like men against boys but I suppose in terms of runs scored, it entertained the crowd.
Interestingly, there were no extra breaks for drinks, helmets or other ‘needs’ and an over rate just under 16 per hour! It can be done!
Essex never really got going – either the thrash and bash or tip and run. You need a solid start when chasing these numbers so perhaps you hold back the bashing but when early wickets fall and you’re behind the rate, you’re chasing dreams.
And so it proved – the regular procession between the pavilion and square just underlined the inexperience and anyone really standing up to be counted.
The crowd starts to drift – perhaps seeking the flesh pots the city centre has to offer rather than drinking themselves into oblivion at the cricket – or it turns its back on the cricket to continue entertaining themselves rather than enjoy the skills on offer!
But the blue on blue savagery was relentless as Derbyshire completely transformed from their earlier match sealed victory by 92 runs with 35 balls left.