NOT TOO often do days of grim attrition, fought out in grey, cheerless conditions, leave both sides reasonably satisfied. Yet that happened here yesterday (if precious little else did) on a pitch that yielded runs at a grudging two an over or less and, perversely, was just as hard work for frozen bowlers.
Nottinghamshire, having won what was probably a good toss to lose, will be pleased that most of their bowlers stuck to it; Derbyshire's fortunes took another nose-dive even before a ball was bowled when Allan Warner went to hospital after being hit on the head during practice (no serious damage was diagnosed) while Mohammad Azharuddin reported unfit with a virus that must owe something to the current English 'summer'.
That meant that Tim O'Gorman was summoned from a second XI game at Blackpool. On recent evidence, it was a fair bet he would not have negotiated his first set of M6 roadworks before the rot set in, but even out-of-form batsmen found they could survive on a pitch that was too damp to do anything very quickly.
On the other hand, the low bounce meant that operations on both front and back foot were not entirely straightforward. Patience was indeed the name of the game. Peter Bowler and Adrian Rollins accordingly kept out of trouble until Jimmy Adams, operating over the wicket, managed to bowl Bowler behind his legs and off his pads.
Mark Crawley, fulfilling the stock bowling role that the injured Kevin Evans might have found rewarding in these conditions, had Rollins lbw half forward, whereupon Andy Pick, finding the ball would swing away from the right- hander off a reduced run-up, regularly frustrated the efforts of the middle order to pull things round.
O'Gorman, with no form to speak of, found timing so elusive that he kept whacking the ball into the ground. But he never allowed frustration to affect his composure, ground relentlessly on and in the end his unbeaten 40 had occupied 71 overs. All things considered, though, it was an innings not without merit.Reuse content