THE PROSPECT of six successive days in Derby would not normally thrill many cricketers. Worcestershire, though, emerged from the first, chill grey one yesterday with some satisfaction
after the seam bowling combination of Tom Moody, Phil Newport and Chris Tolley had given them the upper hand.
They probably know the Derbyshire they will meet in the Sunday League and Benson and Hedges Cup will not be the one currently operating below par and below strength in the Championship; but a successful toss and a green pitch means this will do for starters.
Tolley, finding enough movement to bring the ball back into the right-hander - important for a left-handed bowler - fired off his 17 overs in succession before lunch. Like his colleagues, he seemed to be the ideal pace for a pitch which was on the slow side.
Derbyshire put the loose balls away so effectively that they reached four an over but will be disappointed that three batsmen, Peter Bowler, Chris Adams and Matthew Vandrau, got past 30 and then got out. There were five lbws, too, a high percentage perhaps but this sometimes happens when the ball is moving about and the batsmen's feet are not.
Occasionally the ball bounced generously. This
accounted for Tim O'Gorman and Vandrau, the latter caught off Moody after batting with considerable aplomb and working out what was possible against the moving ball.
Moody, who had bowled only 113 overs in his three previous Championship seasons, might now be a busier man. His great height allied to an
action which gets him close to the stumps enabled him to make the most of the conditions and he took 4 for 13 in 31 balls as Derbyshire subsided.
Among his victims was Karl Krikken, who was later unable to keep wicket after being hit on the head by a short ball from Neal Radford. Phil Weston suffered a similar blow when he missed an attempted hook off Devon Malcolm and both went to hospital as a precaution.