HAMPSHIRE take on a Derbyshire side this weekend aiming to bounce back from defeat against Essex.
The embryonic Championship second tier leaders travel to Derby, for a four day game starting on Sunday, aiming to consolidate their lofty position after victory at Bristol earlier this week.
At the same time Michael Carberry was scoring an unbeaten century to guide Hampshire to a maximum points success at Gloucestershire, Derbyshire were slumping to a 53-run loss against an Essex side containing England skipper Alistair Cook and Ravi Bopara.
Derbyshire, relegated last summer after winning the second tier title in 2012, had skittled Essex for just 94 on the first day of the contest with Mark Footit (5-29) and Tim Groenewald (5-44) sharing the wickets.
But West Indian legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul (75no) was the only man to provide stiff resistance as Derbyshire edged a first innings lead of 60.
Cook struck 181 second time around as Essex compiled 425, with Chanderpaul and Groenwald (both 52) top scoring as Derbyshire were beaten.
Chanderpaul, a veteran of over 150 Tests for the West Indies, is no stranger to Hampshire.
In fact, the 39-year-old will now be trying to score a Championship century against them for a THIRD different county in five years.
He struck 118 while playing for Lancashire in 2010 and followed that with 181 for Warwickshire 12 months later.
Derbyshire’s dressing room door remained shut long after their final wicket had fallen at Chelmsford, but elite performance director Graeme Welch did not deliver any hairdryer treatment.
“We were just trying to identify the key moments where we could have played a bit differently,” he said.
“We have had a good open chat. This is what we are trying to do as a club – have open and honest discussions with everybody and the lads have embraced that.
“We know the periods where we could have improved. “We wouldn’t have liked to be five down in the evening on the first day, a little bit of a bigger lead would have been helpful and in the second day we allowed them a few too many runs in the middle session.
“We could have bowled better and probably attacked a bit too much where we should have sat in. These are all things in hindsight.
“We still played some very good cricket but in patches we could have played a little bit better.”
Welch also knew that Derbyshire had encountered Essex at their strongest. “They have four internationals. They have the England captain, Bopara, Panesar, Foster – a good team,” he added. “We stood toe to toe with them for a lot of the game.”