Head of Cricket, Mickey Arthur, praised the spirit of the Derbyshire squad after their draw against Middlesex at Lord’s.
After losing Ryan Sidebottom to injury early on Day One, Derbyshire’s bowlers picked up the overs admirably, with the debuting Suranga Lakmal partnering with seamers Anuj Dal and Sam Conners, while spinner Alex Thomson took five wickets in the match.
Having been set 356 to win from 88 overs on the final day, Shan Masood (62) and Wayne Madsen (54) were the top-scorers for Derbyshire in the second innings, but three quick wickets after tea saw Leus du Plooy and Dal bat resolutely to guide Arthur’s side to 12 points in his first competitive game in charge.
Having endured batting struggles throughout the 2021 season, Derbyshire’s totals of 304 and 255-5 were a positive start to the season, and Arthur praised the squad for their staunch resistance at Lord’s.
“It was quite nicely set up at teatime, then bang, bang. If we had carried on, we seriously would have had a go at it, which would have made for an entertaining finish,” he told BBC Radio Derby.
“Once we lost those wickets, we had to battle out the draw. I’m so proud of the character shown in that dressing room – we lost a man really early in the piece, but showed a lot of resilience and discipline in our cricket.
“In the evolution of a team, you’ve got to become hard to beat before you become a winning team and we certainly showed that today. To do that, you have to be resolute and tenacious, you have to trust everything that’s going on around you with your teammates.
“I couldn’t be more proud of that for a last day performance.”
Pakistan international, Masood, scored half-centuries in each innings (91 & 62) on his LV= County Championship debut, only the second Derbyshire player in history to do so.
Arthur was delighted with the opener’s performance, but also reserved praise for his new ball partnership for their work-rate and attitude over the four days.
“Shan Masood is everything I knew he would be, he’s gone to another level again and that was some sublime batting from him over the course of the game,” he added.
“I also want to mention Suranga Lakmal and Sam Conners, who bowled in excess of 40 overs, they’ve picked up the load from losing a bowler on a wicket which was really good.
“For them to keep running in and running in, that resolve they have shown is fantastic. I’m very proud of the whole dressing room tonight.”
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