Derbyshire meant serious business at Queen's Park yesterday, from first ball to last, and the result, in the first competitive match under the leadership of Dean Jones, was a performance which outclassed Durham in every department.
Some 20 years ago one E J Barlow took Derbyshire collectively by the scruff of the neck and shook them into a highly combative and effective side. Something similar is clearly about to happen under Jones and, as in Barlow' s day, woe betide those who do not meet the demanding standards required.
There was no danger of that here. Chris Adams, with an unbeaten 100 from 93 balls, and Jones himself (67 from 65) flogged a below-strength attack, ones were turned into twos and twos into threes and generally everything bristled with urgency. Then, with Dominic Cork and Devon Malcolm fizzing away at somewhere near their best, Durham were never permitted a look in.
Yet they might have been. Simon Brown and Neil Killeen bowled well enough with minimal fortune to make Kim Barnett and Adrian Rollins happy enough to get through the first 15 overs without mishap, never mind take advantage of the new regulations which demand attacking fields during that period.
As later events proved, there is still considerable merit, especially for a team with Derbyshire's cavalier instincts, in not losing a wicket at that stage, particularly with the ball moving about. Given a platform, Adams and Jones were able to provide the strokes needed on a slow pitch and they made 135 in 19 overs with a violence that cared little for length and line.
Durham hardly helped themselves by bowling 14 wides. They also unluckily lost their captain, Mike Roseberry, who was cut over an eyebrow attempting a slip catch and was off the field for some time.
When Jones was caught off a high full toss he lingered long enough to wonder whether it might have been a no-ball, but he was well down the pitch at the time. The rest belonged to Adams who needed only occasional moments of luck off the edge and who now might attract attention in high places if he can show similar application against stronger attacks in more daunting conditions.
Roseberry's day was no doubt complete when he sent back Michael Foster who could not beat Phil DeFreitas's accurate throw to the wicketkeeper and then received one of the best balls of the match from Malcolm which found the edge. When John Morris was caught off a long hop, the sense of deja vu was complete for many spectators.Reuse content