Monday, 4 June 2012

Humble pie never tasted so good

Gloucestershire beat Derbyshire by 7 wickets.

The Jessop Tavern View would like to apologise for the lack of posting on Gloucestershires glorious recent victory over run away division two leaders Derbyshire. We have slowly been chewing our way through a mountain of humble pie.

First we accuse Hamish Marshall of being washed up and more interested in maintaining his perm. He responds with two hundreds and a run of consistency we haven't seen since 2006. Then we question whether there is any talent in the Gloucester youngsters and, in particular, where are strike bowlers are. Liam Norwell, David Payne and the better Gidders then all respond with spells that impact the course of the match. Then we criticise the skipper of averaging only 18 and not pulling his weight. He sticks it to us with a match winning first innings hundred. Finally Jon Batty responded to our accusations of being shit by.....ok, ok, so Jon Batty is still very definitely rubbish.

Gloucestershire demolished a Derbyshire team who, until their trip to Nevil road, had been unbeaten this season. The bowling in particular was a welcome reminder of the talent we saw last season, but which had been sorely lacking this term. Picking four seamers and disposing with the services of Ed Young looks a far better bet. Relying on just three young bowlers to consistently provide the firepower is to put too much pressure on players still learning their way. With four seamers you take away some of this pressure and encourage the lads to be aggressive. Run in. Bowl hard. Look to take wickets. If you bowl crap then let someone else have a go. With four guys doing this you increase the chance of one of them having success. The result is bowling out the lead leaders for 95 just after lunch on day one. Whether this rotation of four seamers is viable when a spinner becomes a necessity remains to be seen. At the moment Kane Williamson is probably a better bowler than Ed Young, and thus provides spin cover. When Williamson heads off for international duty this might become more of a problem. (And speaking of Williamson, any news on who is replacement might be yet.....nope, thought not!)

The other pleasing thing about this victory was the way Gloucestershire closed it out. Heading towards the end of day two Derby were poised to fight back on 200 for 4, with two batsmen well set with fifties. In steps David Payne to remove Derby captain Wayne Madsen before the close. The following day the Gloucester dressing room must have known that chasing anything over 150 would be tough, especially given what happened in 2010 against the same opponents, and knowing that they only had 9 batsmen, with Chris Dent nursing a broken finger and Jon Batty opening. Will Gidman then took four quick wickets on day three and Glos only needed 84 to win. Despite losing our man Batty in the first over of the chase, Benny the Frenchman, and Williamson set up a comfortable finish.

So congratulations to the boys. And congratulations to the Jessop Tavern View. We like to think that our constant negativity and over the top criticism of good honest pros trying their best was a source of inspiration to the shire. We can picture our latest posts being pinned up on the dressing room wall by King John in order to fire the guys up. You're welcome.

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