Jon Clare is pick of the seamers on Derbyshire's second day in Barbados
FROM a sparkling start, Jon Clare's season ended in an unsatisfactory fizzle last year but he set out to show he can be a powerful force in Division One of the LV County Championship in the new season yesterday.
In an aggressive six-over second spell at North Stars, Clare took 3-13 to put Derbyshire on top on the second day of their fixture against Northamptonshire, who finished their turn to bat on 321 for 10 wickets in response to Derbyshire's 313-9.
Head coach Karl Krikken had good reason to be happy with his side's batting on the first day and could not have asked for much more in the field, put in the context of a first run-out for his bowlers and a bumpy surface for his fielders to cope with.
All five seamers got through 12 overs and all went away with at least one wicket, while left-arm spinner David Wainwright, who has been troubled by back stiffness, was also able to bowl 12.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Clare's post-lunch spell was certainly the highlight of the day as Northants tumbled from a solid 108-2 at the interval to 165-6.
"The second spell was a bit of a contrast to the first but in pre-season games it tends to go like that," he said.
"I felt the longer I bowled the better I bowled in the first spell and I just found more rhythm in the second spell. The more you bowl, the better you feel in pre-season and I think 3-13 reflected the way I bowled.
"The breeze was perfect for me, right across the ground, and like all Caribbean wickets, if you put your back into it, there's a bit there for you.
"To say it was the first game of pre-season, I thought we bowled pretty well as a unit."
A match-winning 11-57 in his first match of last season, away to Glamorgan, gave Clare a dream start to 2012 but he was sidelined for the climax to the campaign by a mysterious back injury.
"I went for scans and we still don't know what it was," he added. "It was fine until the Northampton game but it went in the first innings.
"I've bowled indoors off short runs and haven't felt a thing, so, hopefully, it was just one of those things.
"I had 30 wickets halfway through the season and thought 'I'll get 50 wickets here' but as soon as you start thinking like that, something is going to go wrong. I've been working so hard on my batting this winter, so I'll be aiming for 50 wickets and 500 runs and, hopefully, be there or thereabouts."
Northants had their scares in the first hour yesterday but made it through the first 17 overs to 55 before Mark Turner beat Stephen Peters with a bit of extra pace and a kind low bounce to get the new skipper lbw for 31.
Ross Whiteley, the most economical of the seamers with 1-26, had Alex Wakely caught at short midwicket for 17 but Derbyshire could not remove Matt Spriegel, promoted to open in his first match since his switch from Surrey.
Derbyshire made a useful breakthrough with the seventh ball after lunch as David Sales was caught at first slip by the reliable Wes Durston for seven off Tony Palladino.
Clare's first victim was James Middlebrook, who played on for 12 at 140-4, and he followed up by ending Spriegel's stubborn stay for 66, made off 129 balls with nine fours, through an lbw decision.
Finding good pace, bounce and a little swing, more wickets looked likely for the all-rounder and he took another when Ben Duckett edged and was taken by Richard Johnson, sharing responsibilities behind the stumps through the day with Tom Poynton.
Johnson stumped David Willey, who added a lively 29 off 18 balls with seven fours, off Durston's off-spin.
Con de Lange was lbw to Tim Groenewald for 34 and Wakely returned for a second bat, only to be bowled offering no shot to Turner, who finished with 2-39.
Rob Keogh was solid for an unbeaten 55 and Duckett made the best of his second chance with 42 before he was bowled by Peter Burgoyne as Northants went past Derbyshire's score before losing their 10th wicket.