Confident Falcons gear up for Queen’s Park derby day

Derbyshire County Cricket Club 2016, Alex Hughes
Derbyshire County Cricket Club 2016, Alex Hughes

Derbyshire Falcons’ stand-in captain Alex Hughes says the team will travel north of the county in confidence for Sunday’s Royal London Cup match with Yorkshire Vikings.

The highly-anticipated match at Queen’s Park is the first of four Derbyshire fixtures to be played in Chesterfield this summer, with the Festival of Cricket also scheduled for July.

A near capacity crowd is expected to watch as the Falcons hope to continue a positive start to the one day campaign, after a seven-wicket win over Worcestershire Rapids in their first fixture.

They face Notts Outlaws in T20 action at Trent Bridge on Friday night.

Hughes said: “It’s always a brilliant game at Queen’s Park and one of my favourite games of the year. The crowd are amazing and it’s a spectacle for everyone involved. This week we’ve got two big games with Notts in the T20 on Friday and then Yorkshire in Chesterfield on Sunday.

“These are the games you really want to play in and it should be really fun. We’ve had a good start to both these competitions so we’re going in to these games with confidence and that can only bode well. We’ll have to be careful of the opposition but at the moment we feel like we can beat anyone.”

Hughes was handed the captaincy following an injury sustained to Wes Durston.

He led the team to victory in last Friday night’s T20 match against Leicestershire Foxes, chasing down 121 to win by four wickets.

A Hamish Rutherford 74-ball century with the bat and a Ben Cotton best figures return of 4-43 with the ball against Worcestershire made it two wins from two for the stand-in captain.

“I was excited to be given the chance to do it on Friday in the T20 then they told me I was going to do it in the one day game as well and I’m very honoured that the coaches think that much of me,” said Hughes. “All the players have been fantastic in backing me and made it an easy job in the end.

“We’ve got a lot of experienced players in the changing room and although I’m captain we’ve got a lot of experienced heads around. I’m not too big to ask the other lads what they think. It makes it an easier job when the players around you are good with you.”

The cricket festival begins on Sunday, July 3 with Derbyshire taking on Northants Steelbacks in Natwest T20 Blast action, continues on Monday, July 4 with a County Championship match between Derbyshire and Northamptonshire and finishes on Sunday, July 10 with another T20 match - Derbyshire v Yorkshire.