Nixon speaks on Steelbacks draw

Leicestershire CCC picked up a point from the no-result at the Fischer County Ground against a Northamptonshire Steelbacks side that entered the fixture on the back of a good victory over Durham only two days prior.

The Steelbacks were in a strong position heading into their innings after the Foxes posted 137 from their twenty overs, yet, after 2.4 overs the players were removed from the field of play for the third and last time as the umpires called time on a broken-up evening of cricket.

Head Coach Paul Nixon spoke on the performance of his Foxes squad after both teams walked away with one point apiece. He said: “I think we got out of jail, if I am honest.

“We did not play our best cricket on the night, Northants bowled well, used the conditions well and we fell well short.

“We were probably 25 or 30 short on that pitch - 160 would have been a good score and I think we could have defended that. As a batting group we under-performed on the night but we will learn the lession.”

The Foxes won the toss and took the decision to bat in conditions that, although deteriorated, had predicted to hold firm in the forecast just before the game.

Nixon said: “We thought long and hard about it and in the end, we felt that there were not that many showers around on the radar that we looked at early on.

“We thought let’s just go and play our positive brand of cricket, put a score on the board and defend.  

“The guys felt that it was quite hard to time it and some slow balls gripped and some did not. On the pitch, areas with grass made it skid on a bit, and areas without grass held it a little bit.

“We will take good learnings from that and be thankful that we earned a point out of the game.”

Leicestershire Foxes occupied joint-fourth spot in the table at the end of Friday’s round of fixtures along with Durham (both on eight points).

The table moved on with some games on Sunday, but there were further points shared because of the elements. With three of the top four gaining one point from washouts, and leaders Lancashire Lightning losing, everyone has everything to play for in the tightest of North divisions.

Nixon said: “Northamptonshire are a good team, and they won the competition a couple of years ago. This is their format. But we took a good point from the game and now we move on, we are still in the hunt and anything can happen.”

The Foxes now enter a busy period with back-to-back Vitality Blast fixtures against Derbyshire Falcons and Northamptonshire Steelbacks respectively, before heading North for a Specsavers County Championship fixture against Durham just two days later.

This is closely followed by the return Vitality Blast fixtures against Notts Outlaws and Derbyshire Falcons, which are set to be mouthwatering East Midlands derbies at the Fischer County Ground.

Nixon spoke on the preparation for the upcoming influx of fixtures. He said: “The lads have a couple of days off now with a busy 10-day schedule coming pretty soon, which is very intense.

“The first team guys have a good opportunity to rest their muscles and minds well and then we come back strong ready for a good practice later on in the week, ready for a big game against Derbyshire.”

Derbyshire were defeated by Durham on Friday (August 9) but have since defeated Yorkshire Vikings in their build-up to the fixture at the Pattonair County Ground on Thursday (August 15), a game that is live on Sky Sports.

Nixon said: “Derbyshire are a good side, they are playing good cricket.

“Billy Godleman plays from the front - he goes hard from ball one. Wayne Madsen is one of the best players in the league and has dominated county cricket for a long period of time.

“There are a couple of key wickets to get there, but we have to mindful and we have to play good cricket.

“It should be a high scoring game and weather permitting we have another good performance. We have to prepare well for that.”

* The Foxes travel to Derbyshire on Thursday (August 15) as they look to continue their three game unbeaten streak in the competition.