The new look 3AAA County Ground at Derby will have its first taste of cricket this week as the local side play host to Glamorgan in their first home fixture of the season.
The visitors come to Derby on the back of a defeat at home last week, while the hosts will be pleased with their efforts with the bat against Gloucestershire in the last round.
If Glamorgan saw a match against Leicestershire at home as an easy early season victory, then Clint McKay and company certainly had other ideas. In a defeat Jacques Rudolph referred to as a “wake up call”, the Welsh side showed a number of weaknesses. The openers struggled for runs in the first innings and in the second the only bright point was a half-century from young Aneurin Donald.
The fielding was generally poor, the Leicestershire openers were dropped three times in the first innings, while Michael Hogan and Graeme Wagg failed to fire with the ball.
In their comfortable draw with Gloucestershire last week, Derbyshire batters showed just how powerful they can be, with Chesney Hughes, Wayne Madsen, Tom Poynton and Hamish Rutherford all putting significant runs on the board. With a pitch that was offering up very little, the bowlers were unable to really make a contribution.
The pitch at Derby should be a better one for the seamers, so the local bowlers will be called upon to perform. Derbyshire’s batting side is looking stronger and more experienced than their bowling attack, so Glamorgan’s batters will need to exploit that and perform better than they did against the Foxes.
For their part, the Falcons will be high on batting confidence and the likes of Hughes and Madsen will be keen to have a taste of what Hogan and Wagg can dish up. The weather is forecast to be cloudy, and wet in patches. It could make for some interesting movement.
After a couple of seasons that saw him roll in and out of the side because of questionable form, Chesney Hughes seems to have started 2016 with a determination to change all that. The powerful opener made 96 and 137* against Gloucestershire last week and, with the ability to contribute wickets as well, Glamorgan will know that he is a formidable opponent.
Incredibly mature for a lad of just 19, Aneurin Donald showed himself very capable against Leicestershire last week even though he was a late call up to replace the injured Colin Ingram. Coming to the crease with his side on 29-3, Donald maintained his composure and topped up the score by 57 runs.
Derbyshire’s squad is largely unchanged from that which drew against Gloucestershire last week, the only exception being the inclusion of Matthew Critchley. The 19 year old took a five wicket haul and made a half century for the second XI this week and has been duly rewarded.
Glamorgan have named a 13 man squad that includes pace man Harry Podmore, who is on loan from Middlesex, spinner Andrew Salter and 19 year old Aneurin Donald. Colin Ingram misses out because of injury.
Derbyshire squad: Hamish Rutherford (c), Tom Poynton (wk), Ben Slater, Chesney Hughes, Wayne Madsen, Neil Broom, Shiv Thakor, Wes Durston, Matthew Critchley, Tony Palladino, Ben Cotton, Luke Fletcher, Andy Carter
Glamorgan squad: Jacques Rudolph (c), Mark Wallace (wk), Will Bragg, Chris Cooke, Aneurin Donald, David Lloyd, Graham Wagg, Craig Meschede, James Kettleborough, Michael Hogan, Timm van der Gugten, Andrew Salter, Harry Podmore
Weather and conditions:
It’s looking to be cloudy and chilly in Derby for the whole of the four days, with some rain expected on Monday and Wednesday.
Date: 24th – 27th April, 2016
Ground: The 3AAA County Ground at Derby
Umpires: Neil Bainton & Nigel Llong
Odds (SkyBet): Derbyshire 4/6, Glamorgan 6/5