Houghton praises execution and attitude

Wednesday 5th August 2020
& News
Written by Tom Skinner

Head of Cricket Dave Houghton praised Derbyshire’s battling nature and application of their skills at key moments after they secured a record-breaking win over Nottinghamshire.

The opening round victory in the Bob Willis Trophy, which saw Derbyshire chase down 365 runs to win – a club record against a first-class county, was sealed in a dramatic final over at Trent Bridge.

It was a game which ebbed and flowed and Houghton was pleased to come out on the winning side, while it was Derbyshire’s execution which impressed him the most.

“It was a fantastic game of cricket and the key ingredient is often a good wicket and that was,” said Houghton. “There was more than enough for the bowlers and for the batsmen, if you got stuck in you could score runs.

“In terms of the result, the execution impressed me the most. When we needed to stand up and be counted we were very good.

“At times when we were bowling and partnerships took hold against us as they do, the lads still ran in and bowled well and we got the rewards for it.

“Batting in the second innings we could have faltered, but we were resilient, took the game deep and got over the line.

“They are a big club and they like to tell us more often than not. We beat them by virtue of the fact we were the better side who played better cricket. That’s what’s good to know.

“For me it’s now about how we go and back it up against Leicestershire. If you go and lose the next game, you’ve not achieved a lot. But if we go and play a competitive game next week, then things are going in the right direction.”

Young seamers Ben Aitchison and Michael Cohen, who celebrated his birthday by scoring the winning runs, made their debuts for Derbyshire, while Sam Conners played in just his fourth first-class match.

With 14 wickets between them, they were at the forefront of Derbyshire’s success with the ball and their persistence and willingness to learn pleased Houghton.

“Three 21-year-olds and a 22-year-old – they were excellent,” he said. “We bowled enough wicket-taking deliveries, but didn’t stack up enough dot balls in the first session.

“They came back particularly well in the second session, hit good areas consistently and it’s great news for us to watch them play so well and learn the game.”

The contribution which typified Derbyshire’s mix of spirit and skill in recovering the game came from Leus du Plooy and Fynn Hudson-Prentice, both of whom garnered praise from their coach.

“Leus is such a standout cricketer,” said Houghton. “When you look at the two sides, he was the standout player on both sides. In my opinion he’s a Test cricketer.

“We’ve always had a number of all-rounders and what I’m trying to get these guys to do is to establish themselves as full-time all-rounders, who can be selected based on either skill.

“We saw from Fynn [Hudson-Prentice] that you could pick him as a batsman, he doesn’t have to bowl.

“I want to get more of our guys to that position – Matt Critchley is getting close to that and Alex Hughes is in the same boat. These are very talented cricketers and once we get our all-rounders in the position where they can get in the side on either of their skills, we have a very solid middle which goes behind an exceptionally powerful top-order.”

Next up for Derbyshire is a chance to continue their momentum in a top of the table clash against Leicestershire at The Fischer County Ground, starting on Saturday 8 August, a game which could see Derbyshire give opportunities to further members of the squad.

“Because it’s so concertinaed, you almost pick your first three sides before you play a game to see how you can fit people in,” said Houghton.

“We’ve got opportunities for players and in this shortened season there will likely be changes every week.”

Together, We Are All Derbyshire. Four-day cricket has returned you can follow all five of Derbyshire’s Bob Willis Trophy matches live on our match centre at

Match Result:
Sat 01 Aug 2020 - Tue 04 Aug 2020
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