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?
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

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent