Viljoen proud to lead Derbyshire to victory

Saturday 16th September 2017
& News
Written by Danny Painter

Hardus Viljoen says it was a privilege to bowl Derbyshire to victory over Sussex at Hove after taking a record-breaking 15 wickets in the match.

Viljoen became the first Derbyshire player to take 15 wickets in a match since Cliff Gladwin in 1952 and returned the best ever figures (15-170) for the Club against Sussex.

His devastating post-tea spell reduced Sussex from 267-3 to 318-8, before Harry Podmore (2-74) claimed the final two wickets to complete a thrilling win by 45 runs – a second Specsavers County Championship triumph of the season.

Viljoen said: “It was just my day, and if it’s your day you have to run with it. I’m not a big stats man, but it was a privilege and an honour to be able to do that.

“It was great to get the lads over the line for only the second time this season. No-one panicked. We knew that two or three quick wickets would put us back in the game. We took the crucial wickets of Stiaan van Zyl and then Luke Wright.

“We are getting some good belief back. We have a really good team culture.

He added: “I am getting back to where I know I can be. I actually feel better than I have ever felt. I have learned more skills in England and mentally I have grown a lot too.

“I do have the tendency to bowl long spells. I work a lot with my fitness. I’ve had a groin injury, then a knee niggle and then a groin again. But my body’s getting better.

“It’s even more frustrating for players than spectators. But I’m fit now and I feel blessed to play for Derbyshire.”

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