All things being equal, I tell the boys to take their time, use Graham Gooch’s thing about the “daddy hundred” and go big. I’d like to declare around lunch for 500 if they can manage it.
Finch makes his 50 and then chips one to slip off Abbott. 51 off 118 and I clap him back to the pavilion. 318-4
Ravi Bopara plays exactly the sort of innings we are used to from Ravi bloody Bopara.
He’s dropped, he plays an exquisite paddle for 4 and then gets cleaned bowled by Abbott. An infuriating cricketer. Still 24 from 39 is ok. Ish. Maybe. 369-6
Next to go is Ben Brown who chips one to Wayne Madsen in the slips, who takes a good catch for Palladino’s second wicket. 389-7
500 now looks a long way off. It starts to recede even further as David Wiese – really our last actual player who knows which way up to hold a bat – goes for 13 off Ravi Rampaul. 394-8
Mitchell Claydon hits a boundary, then gets over excited and gets castled by Luis Reece. 399-9
The 400 comes up with an expansive shot from Stuart Meaker.
The innings ends with Will Beer getting trapped on the crease by Fynn Hudson-Prentice, the 24 year old doing him for pace.
We’re 418 all out, which is a disappointment considering day one’s effort but still not too bad. We’ve 20 minutes to lunch and we’ve already got four bonus points.
Derbyshire go to lunch 10-0. Afterwards, the openers Billy Godleman and Luis Reece plod along as Meaker and Claydon bowl five overs each without really threatening but without getting slashed around either.
Eventually, Reece, on 18, miscues one and Finchy, the new blue-eyed boy, takes a smart catch at second slip off Wiese. 37-1
Wiese then returns the favour and takes an easy catch off Meaker as Madsen spoons one for 23. 96-2
Godleman, who has been playing beautifully and has hit 11 fours, then loses concentration and flaps at a defensive stroke. Salt snaffles the catch off Claydon. He’s gone for 73 off 102 balls and Derbyshire are 147-3.
At tea they’re 150-3 and we still lead by 268 runs. This is a nice pitch to bat on and I think this might have draw tattooed all over it.
After tea, their South African, Leus du Plooy, who has been murdering the attack falls for 32 off 50 balls as he chases one angled across him from Wiese. Brown takes a great catch diving across behind the stumps. 155-4
Derbyshire tick along, the bowlers turn their arms over and it’s fine. It’s not very interesting but it’s not very alarming either. It just is… This is cricket as Zen Buddhism.
Suddenly, as I’m about to tell Meaker to have a blow and take his jumper and trot back to third man, Alex Hughes – who has made 36 steady runs off 79 balls – when, out of nowhere, Bopara takes a worldy of a catch, pouching at gully with a full length reaction dive.
God he’s a frustrating cricketer! 212-5
They end Day Two without much more incident. 252-5. They’ve also amassed 4 bonus points to our 5. This may well be tight.