Assistant Head Coach, (Bowling Lead), Ajmal Shahzad, says Derbyshire will approach their final three games with good intent, having tasted a heavy defeat to Yorkshire at Scarborough.
The game was closely fought until late on Day Two, where Yorkshire began to stretch their lead and pushed on, as Derbyshire failed to make the most of the new ball.
Shahzad, speaking in place of Mickey Arthur, who joined up with his side on Day One, says Derbyshire are determined to approach their final three games of the season with in the intent to improve and stop their frustrating collapses in games.
“After coming out of a real tough 50-over campaign, we are trying to be real positive in these four Championship games. We tried to approach this game in particular with a slightly different mindset – having that intent with bat and ball, looking to take wickets and keep the scoreboard ticking. Ultimately, the game’s moving forwards consistently then.
“It went really well for us on day one. The boys started well with the new ball. To take 10 wickets, we felt we were in it. Even, having lost Harry Came early, I thought Mitch Wagstaff was fantastic.
“On day two, when we lost sessions, we lost them badly. We lost seven wickets for 70 after lunch.
“Then for the lack of intensity to spill over to the new ball in their innings, we were behind the eight-ball. Then we were trying to claw it back.
“I thought the boys stuck at it and dug in. It was hard work (with the ball on day three). It was hot, and the ball got soft and the wicket flatter.
“We then felt it was impossible but improbable to chase those runs down. Saying that, the way Wayne Madsen went about it this morning – being the player and class act he is – we felt there was a sniff there.
“He was backed up by Camey, and we felt we could score runs quite quickly.
“But, as things have happened for us in this game, they’ve happened quite quickly. And the back end there was disappointing to see the way we collapsed.”
One of the positives from Derbyshire’s defeat to Yorkshire was the performance of Mitch Wagstaff, who scored a maiden first-class half-century, before taking two wickets in his first over with the ball.
As a Cricket Derbyshire Pathway graduate, Wagstaff is part of a promising group of young players, with also includes Harry Moore, who made his first team debut last month, and Yousaf Bin Naeem, who scored his first Second XI century last week.
Shahzad says the future is loking promising for Derbyshire’s youngsters, and is looking forward to seeing how they keep developing and progressing through the ranks.
“It’s fantastic to see a young lad come in and play with the freedom that Mitch did,” he added.
“From top to bottom, we wanted our players to be able to go out there and express themselves, whether that be our most experienced players in Wayne Madsen, or a younger player in Mitch Wagstaff.
“On Saturday, Mitch reminded me that his century in the Second XI [vs Nottinghamshire] was at a-run-a-ball, so he would have no problem playing with freedom and keeping the scoreboard ticking, that’s a breath of fresh air.
“He played well against an experienced attack, you’ve got an international bowler in Matthew Fisher and an experienced cricketer in Ben Coad, so for him to go out and play the way he did to get a fifty was great to see.
“Hopefully he can build on that, and his leg spin is something we see a lot in the nets, he’s probably a little bit underrrated and, having two wickets in an over, he’s someone we’re looking at as an option. He can now kick on in the next few games and put himself in contention for the 2024 season.
“We’ve seen Harry Moore and Mitch Wagstaff come through, and Yousaf Bin Naeem looks a real prospect as well, so the future looks really bright for Derbyshire, so fingers crossed they can keep developing and heading in the right direction.”