Shivnarine Chanderpaul praised his team-mates for all playing their part, after Derbyshire battled hard on the final day to claim victory against Somerset.
The 39-year-old produced his most telling contribution yet in a Derbyshire shirt, hitting a priceless unbeaten 74 to guide Karl Krikken’s side to a two-wicket win at Taunton.
Chanderpaul and Tim Groenewald faced an anxious wait during the lunch interval with eight wickets down and just six runs needed for victory. But four leg-byes in the third over after the resumption sealed a crucial triumph for the visitors.
Speaking exclusively to the Cricket Derbyshire E-Newsletter, Chanderpaul said: “I’m delighted to have seen us home.
“It was a tough day for us and a tough game. But we stood strong and came out on top at the end.
“There were obviously a few nerves at lunch. We just tried to keep it out of our minds and not stress too much about it. If it was going to happen it would happen.
“We just had to go out and do whatever we had to do to get the last few runs and thankfully we managed to get over the line.
“The pitch was obviously difficult to bat on and there was plenty of spin. We didn’t mind the seamers, but it was really hard against the spinners and - in the end - I think we played Piyush Chawla very well."
Despite the drama of the final day, Chanderpaul was keen to point out the importance of strong performances, from various individuals, throughout the match.
“It was a total team effort," he said.
“Alex Hughes came in on the final day and batted really well. He put away the bad balls when they were there for the taking.
“But the partnership between Tom Poynton and Richard Johnson on Day One was also great because all the other guys chipped in around it and it helped us get to our first innings total.
"Everyone contributed with little partnerships. Every little thing all the guys did during the game helped us come out on top.”
Alongside his heroics with the bat, Chanderpaul also starred with the ball claiming two key wickets.
“It was one of those pitches. It was ripping. If you put the ball in the right area you would eventually get wickets. I was a little lucky with mine as Kieswetter dragged on and the other wicket was a nick.
“But obviously it was good to contribute with the ball and help in any way I can."
Following the ecstasy of such a crucial victory, Chanderpaul is already looking forward to the visits of Durham (starting on Wednesday, 10.30am) and Warwickshire as Derbyshire aim to preserve their First Division status.
“All the guys were ecstatic with the win," he said. "Everyone was jumping around the dressing room. We couldn’t believe it. But we deserved it because we kept fighting all the way.
“We said we will always fight and that is what we have done to get the result in the end.
“We have obviously now got two big games at home and we hope to continue to play well. If we do that, hopefully it will be enough.”
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