Captains take easy option

Derbyshire 165 and 435-5 Warwickshire 204 Match drawn

Remember three-day cricket, that dinosaur of the Eighties, long accused and found guilty for all England's cricketing problems? Four-day cricket was the cry from those in the know – "that will solve everything" – so the powerbrokers at Lord's changed the structure of the game.

Remember three-day cricket, that dinosaur of the Eighties, long accused and found guilty for all England's cricketing problems? Four-day cricket was the cry from those in the know – "that will solve everything" – so the powerbrokers at Lord's changed the structure of the game.

Undoubtedly it has been beneficial in many respects but sadly it seems to have killed any imaginative or daring captaincy.

This match effectively became a three-day contest after Thursday was washed out and with Derbyshire rooted to the bottom of Division Two without a Championship win, and Warwickshire pushing for promotion, there were hopes of a final-day battle for points. It would need some bold play and, more importantly, some bold thinking but surely someone would grasp the game by the scruff of the neck and wring it until it yielded.

The fact that David Hemp came on to bowl at 3.20pm sums up the day. At his most penetrative best he is nothing more than a net bowler. That at least was better than the over Keith Piper, the wicketkeeper, bowled before tea.

Which side was to blame for the dull stalemate that filled the final two sessions? It does not really matter because it is indicative of much that is wrong with county cricket and the reason why the players fail so often when put under pressure.

Neil Smith shrugged his shoulders to a couple of barrackers in the crowd but this gesture revealed more than boredom with the day. It screamed his attitude of "what can we do? It's up to them to declare." Well, you could start by setting attacking fields when you bowl and trying to get the opposition out rather than just allowing the game to drift and then claiming the moral high ground.

That does not win matches. If one thing is to be learned from the Australians this summer, it must be that good, aggressive but disciplined cricket wins matches and wins over crowds.

Luke Sutton, 24, remained impervious to all and improved his statistics with a maiden first-class century while Graeme Welch completed his return to his old club by adding a half-century to his five-wicket haul. Neither mattered a great deal but maybe Derbyshire were determined not to be seen as a soft touch and any sympathy Warwickshire may have garnered was lost by their on-field attitude. It is amazing to think that only a few years ago they filled cupboards with trophies with their daring and exciting cricket.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander in the leaked trailer for Zoolander 2
film
Sport
footballArsenal take the Community Shield thanks to a sensational strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Arts and Entertainment
Gemma Chan as synth Anita in Humans
film
Arts and Entertainment
Ensemble cast: Jamie McCartney with ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’
artBritish artist Jamie McCartney explains a work that is designed to put women's minds at rest
News
Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump
people
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen