Jeevan Mendis says he was pleased to play his part in the win over Warwickshire on Wednesday, but insists it was a great team effort that earned the Falcons the two points.
Mendis hit an unbeaten 44 off 23 balls to guide Derbyshire to a four-wicket win. The Sri Lanka all-rounder also claimed figures of 1-55 from his ten overs.
“The last few games I didn’t get to bat, but I was hoping to hit a good one for Derbyshire, but this was a team effort,” he said.
“We bowled pretty well at the beginning of the game and we have good players such as Wayne Madsen and Daryn Smit who both gave me a boost to finish the game, it helps a lot when the senior players are there.
“In the one-day matches it is important you start well whether you are batting or bowling and put yourself in a good position. Billy [Godleman] and Ben [Slater] gave us a good start.”
Mendis added: “Every innings I go to bat I get nervous so I grab a drink and a chewing gum before I go out. The first ten balls there is a lot of pressure but that’s why I keep myself occupied at the crease and run a lot to increase the pressure.
“When I started my career I was a batsman, but when I played for Sri Lanka they turned me into an all-rounder so it give me a bit of time to settle for number seven.
“It’s one of the hardest positions to bat as you don’t have any balls to settle in and have to keep up with the run-rate.”
Mendis has been working closely with Matt Critchley both on his batting and bowling in training who he was joined by in the middle as Derbyshire claimed victory, Critchley finishing nine not out.
“Matt’s a good talented guy and I knew when he was coming to bat that he is a guy who hits the ball well. I was not worried but you always want to get the game finished before the last over.”
Derbyshire now go on to face Lancashire at Blackpool on Friday 12 May as the side look to make it two wins in two and look to remain in the mix for a top three finish.
“I hope the weather stays sunny like this in Blackpool also, it gives you a bit of turn and makes the wicket slower and as a spinner gives you a bit of an advantage. Hopefully Blackpool will give us another win for Derbyshire.”
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Worcestershire – Tuesday 16 May – BUY