Tom Poynton has hailed the pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi a success and says the squad are raring to go with the new season just a little under five weeks away.
The squad returned to the UK on Monday morning after enjoying 10 days in the heat of the United Arab Emirates taking part in an intense regime of warm weather training and competitive fixtures against fellow first-class counties.
Poynton says the tour had been the ideal preparation ahead of the new campaign as the squad target a quick start to the 2015 season.
“It’s been good to get outdoors after being indoors and in the gym for such a long period of time,” Poynton said.
“It’s been nice to get some grass under your feet and get some proper cricket in. It’s an exciting time of the year and you know you’re in the build up to the season. It really starts to kick in from here.
Alex Hughes produced a fine all-round performance, but it wasn't enough as Derbyshire tasted defeat for the first time in Abu Dhabi as they went down by 36 runs to Middlesex in a Twenty20 friendly.
Alex Hughes (3-25) produced a stunning spell of bowling, but Dawid Malan's 60 helped Middlesex post 188-7 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Wickets fell at regular intervals during Derbyshire’s reply, with Alex Hughes top scoring with 30 and Shiv Thakor adding 27, but Wayne Madsen's men fell short of their target by 36 runs when they were bowled out for 152 off the penultimate delivery.
After being put into bat, Middlesex started brightly during the powerplay overs but Nick Compton was run out by Madsen for 26. The wicket seemed to slow Middlesex’s progress initially but they recovered through Dawid Malan (60) and Nick Gubbins (30).
Captain Wayne Madsen says he’s delighted with the county’s progress during their tour of Abu Dhabi, sponsored by Briggs of Burton, after securing three wins in as many matches.
Derbyshire have enjoyed seven days in the United Arab Emirates taking part in warm-weather training and competing in competitive fixtures against fellow first-class county Worcestershire and an ICC Associates XI.
Graeme Welch’s men have claimed victories in all three of their fixtures and Madsen say he’s been pleased with the side’s pre-season performances.
"We've had a couple of great performances out here," Madsen said.
"The 50-over win against Worcestershire – to claw back and win the game from the position that we were in – is going to give us great confidence.
Since landing in Abu Dhabi, it feels like nobody has had a moment to stop and take in the beautiful scenery around us due to the packed tour schedule.
Six consecutive days of cricket – the first two being intense training sessions – have meant that time has been in short supply for the touring party.
As a result, it has been excellent to have a free day today to relax and enjoy all that Abu Dhabi has to offer.
The majority of the squad and staff today enjoyed a boat-trip on a catamaran from Abu Dhabi Marina. The boat took us out to sea a few miles before mooring at a private island for two hours so we could all lay back and take in the wonderful sunshine.
A couple of players also took the opportunity today to experience go-karting at the Yas Marina Grand Prix Circuit situated directly opposite our hotel.
Derbyshire’s Martin Guptill produced a Man of the Match performance, top scoring with 105, as New Zealand recorded their sixth successive win at the 2015 World Cup as they beat Bangladesh by three wickets.
In a thrilling ODI in Hamilton, the home side chased down 289 with three wickets and seven balls to spare to maintain their unbeaten record in Group A.
Guptill led the chase with a terrific century off just 88 balls after the Black Caps had lost two early wickets. The powerful opener hit 11 fours and two sixes before finally falling for 105 – his sixth ODI hundred.
Ross Taylor added 56 and Grant Elliott hit 39 as New Zealand reached their target in the penultimate over.
Derbyshire defeated Worcestershire by six wickets to make it three wins from three on the pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi, sponsored by Briggs of Burton.
On the second day of the two-day friendly, Derbyshire successfully chased down a target of 88 to win with Ben Slater top scoring with 67 and leading his side to a comfortable win before carrying on to bat out the remaining overs.
The day began with Worcestershire on 103-2 and looking to close in on Derbyshire’s first innings total of 276-3.
Left-arm seamer Harry White - who recently signed an incremental contract for 2015 - claimed the first two wickets of the day, beating Alexei Kervezee (33) for pace to remove his middle stump and then enticing the edge of Ross Whiteley without scoring. They were his first two scalps for the first team.
Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals but Alex Gidman anchored the innings to score 62 .
Derbyshire legend Devon Malcolm says the demolition of the old indoor school represents the Club’s progress as the first phase of ground development nears completion.
A million pound has been invested during the off-season redeveloping the Pavilion into a new and exclusive facility for Members on matchdays - and a state of the art 300-seater Conference & Events venue on non-matchdays.
The players, meanwhile, have moved in to the Cricket Derbyshire Elite Performance Centre, known formerly as the Gateway Centre, where all their training and matchday facilities will be under one roof.
Malcolm, who spent 14 years at the county claiming 579 first-class wickets, says he's impressed with the work completed over the winter as he visited the ground to oversee the final demolition of the old indoor school, a place he learned his trade as a fast bowler.
“The old indoor school was where I learned my cricket,” Malcolm said. “We spent a lot of time there during pre-season, but that was then and the demolition is a sign of the Club’s progress.
“I could read off the players that used the old indoor school. Players like Geoff Miller, Bob Taylor, Kim Barnett, John Morris, Dominic Cork, Chris Adams; probably six or seven players that would go onto play international cricket who were using the facilities there.
“At the time we used it, it did its job. Back then we thought it was the best.
Have you secured Executive Membership for the 2015 season yet? Fewer than 70 remain for the new season and demand remains high.
A million pound has been invested during the current off-season in renovating the Pavilion to create a new and exclusive lounge for Executive Members.
It will offer some of the best seats in the house, accompanied by balcony views, with waiter/waitress service available.
And NEW for 2015 is the Dual Membership; Executive Membership for you and your partner at a discounted rate - saving you £285.
Demand is high, so purchase your Executive Membership today to avoid disappointment.
Wayne Madsen hit an unbeaten hundred during a century stand with Harvey Hosein – who scored 92 – as Derbyshire enjoyed a good first day against Worcestershire in Abu Dhabi.
Batting first in the two-day red-ball fixture, Derbyshire begun brightly through Billy Godleman (18) and Ben Slater (31) before Madsen and Hosein piled on the runs.
Both started conservatively but soon got into their stride. Madsen brought up his half-century from 75 balls whereas Hosein took 82 balls to reach the same milestone.
Hosein was unlucky to fall in the nineties, bowled by Gareth Andrew for 92, but by that time his partnership with Madsen had soared past 150.
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