Debutante Qadri spins the win

I called my Dad this evening, after Derbyshire sealed the win that I fully expected last night.”We’ve won Pop. 39 runs. Fantastic result. That young lad Hamidullah Qadri took five for 60 in 26 overs.”

It was a bit staccato, but hey, I was excited.

Bear in mind my Dad is 90 and his hearing isn’t so good these days, but his interest in cricket is as strong as ever. The reply, after his enthused reaction, took me by surprise.

‘I’ve been thinking, son. Is he Colin’s grandson?’

I was baffled for a minute, then realised that ‘Qadri’ had been misheard as ‘Cowdrey’. An easy mistake to make, I guess, especially how I speak and how Dad hears these days…

On the basis of his performance in today’s game, I don’t think Hamidullah Qadri will be confused with many people in a few years time. I doubt whether he has bowled more overs than that in an innings many times, and he will doubtless sleep well when he gets home tonight. He will do so safe in the knowledge that, in his first game of county cricket, he has played a blinder and won the game for his side.

It wasn’t just the way that he bowled, but how he kept line and length over a long spell.

It would have been understood had he erred as he tired, but I don’t recall many bad balls at all. It was touching how the team surrounded and applauded him, then let him lead them off at the end, captured in a great photo by David Griffin (pictured above).

Indeed he outbowled Jeevan Mendis, who I expected to be the match-winner today. Mendis bowled some good balls, but at times too short and was cut and pulled accordingly. Nonetheless, he played his part, held the match-winning catch and can look back on that crucial late wicket last night, when he removed Jacques Rudolph.

I thought Wayne Madsen might fancy a bowl and his introduction by the skipper brought quick dividends, just when the impressive Selman and Donald were putting together a dangerous stand.

Aneurin Donald was smartly caught by Alex Hughes at short leg, while Nick Selman, who had looked more composed than most in the match, was quite brilliantly stumped down the leg side by Daryn Smit.

The keeper later held a fine leg side catch to dismiss Graeme Wagg, and again was impeccable behind the stumps.

The scenes as Jeevan Mendis held the match-winning catch, and the team swamped the young bowler, were touching. Whatever happens to the young man in his future career – and I suspect that to be a great deal – he will never forget his county debut and bowling his side to a win that they deserved.

Billy Godleman and his senior players got it spot on in this game. Fields were intelligently and innovatively set, bowlers were switched from end to end and changes were made at the right time.

It was not a wicket for Tom Taylor or Tom Milnes, and the bowling went pretty much as expected. The batting approach was fully vindicated, as was the inclusion of a young man who will probably float through the rest of the week.

It is a good night to be a Derbyshire supporter. OK, Glamorgan aren’t a great side, but you can only beat what is in front of you and play the conditions.

We did that, we did it well and we have a win. I’ve waited 710 days to write that about our four-day cricket.

This piece first appeared on Steve Dolman’s personal site. It is reproduced here with the author’s permission.

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