Well, this one is wide open.
If ever the stage was set for a captain's innings, this is it. At 49-2, 31 runs ahead, this game is in the balance. Given the delicate state of our batting, you might say that the home side were slightly on top, especially as they have removed our two steadiest batsmen in Chris Rogers and Steve Stubbings.
I have been impressed by the way that Dan Birch has knuckled down over the last two games and I'm probably not alone in thinking he didn't have it in him. Admittedly, I'll be even more impressed if he's still batting mid-afternoon tomorrow, and a captain's innings from Rikki Clarke would go down a treat.
Considering that the press were calling this a belter of a batting wicket, the first innings scores have been only average, but credit should go to both sets of bowlers. It was good to see Kevin Dean back in the side and bowling what appears to have been an exemplary spell of 17 overs to take 4-28. We've got real competition in the seam bowling ranks and while Jon Clare was a little more expensive than usual, he got two wickets, as did Charl Langeveldt and Graham Wagg.
Speaking of Waggy, those of you who read today's earlier post will know about my "dispute" with a certain Worcestershire fan and the BBC 606 administrator over a comment made about his past. I'm pleased to say that I've now had an e mail from them to say that they agree the comment was potentially libellous and has been withdrawn. I'm quite happy with that, and fully agree with the Silver Fox who commented earlier. Free speech should be a right, but not when it
descends into insult and blatant inaccuracy.
Back to the game and what do we need to win? 400 would be great, but unlikely, but 250 might take some getting for them. I've not seen the wicket but it appears to offer help to the seamers and I think our attack could win it if we give them something to bowl at.
So come on boys - let's fill those batting boots and go for a win at the greatest of grounds.
Well, outside Derby and Chesterfield of course!