Getting over the line in sport is one of the hardest skills to master, but Derbyshire have shown this season they are becoming a team that can win when the pressure is on.
Although they suffered a defeat at Worcester, Derbyshire go into tomorrow’s home game against Yorkshire with three wins so far in the Royal London One-Day Cup and with a good chance of qualifying from a strong North Group.
Victories over Durham and Leicestershire were hard earned and might have gone against them in past seasons when winning positions slipped away. But this time, they seem stronger and more capable of turning potential shortfalls into victories.
All-rounder Matt Critchley certainly appreciates the significance of seeing games out and believes the team is now better equipped to come out on top.
Critchley, 21, said: “I know that in my first year we had that game against Gloucestershire where we ended up losing from nowhere and we had a couple more similar slip-ups too.
“But now we have more senior lads and with some of the younger ones having a bit more experience, it has definitely made a difference. Now, we are getting the wins in these tight games which is good to see.
“A good side wins games at the end of the day, so it doesn’t really matter how you do that. In previous years, we might have won one but would probably have lost one which would have put us in a tricky position.
“For once, we are not playing catch-up in the Royal London One-Day Cup. We are ahead of the game.
“However, at this stage, we’re not getting complacent. I think a few of us have been through a bit of hurt in the last few years, so we are doing all we can to win every game we play.”
Critchley played his part in the win over Leicestershire by taking three wickets and is enjoying the extra responsibility created by playing an extra batsman.
“It means you can’t shy away from responsibility as a bowler, you know what your job is and I think a few of the boys are thriving on that,” he said.
“It’s coming along nicely for me. I’ve put a lot of work in. Last year didn’t go the way I wanted it to and there are a few things I want to get better at, but it’s going well.
“The important thing is to contribute with bat and ball and, in most games, I’ve done that with one or the other or both.”