7th June 2019
"The guys know that they are good enough players to do that" - Nixon
Leicestershire came away from Liverpool Cricket Club with nine points following a hard-fought draw with table-topping Lancashire CCC.
Lancashire posted 449 runs in the first innings, a run total that put the Foxes on the backfoot during the second day as they embarked upon restoring parity in the game.
The situation became tough for both sides as the Foxes were not able to take to the wicket to begin their reply in the second day with persistent rain halting play with the umpires officially calling it a day at 4:30pm.
Once the reply finally got underway in day three, a tricky task lay ahead as the Foxes quickly found themselves three wickets down having posted just 17 runs.
Head Coach Paul Nixon spoke to Foxes TV following the conclusion of the rain-restricted fixture which ended in a draw: “We made that [to come away with a draw] our target this morning after missing out on the follow-on target by 12 runs, which was gut-wrenching.
“The character and the resilience that the guys showed under pressure, against a strong attack on a wicket that still did a little bit was really pleasing.
“We come out of the game with some good points against a very good Lancashire side full of confidence, so we are pleased.”
The Foxes came back out on the final day sitting at five for one after losing nightwatchman Chris Wright in the latter overs of the third day.
His replacement was Callum Parkinson, who took on the a similar role. Parkinson not only saw his team through to the final day but also to the second session of that last day, playing a pivotal role alongside captain Paul Horton.
Nixon said: “All of the guys did great. All of our latter-middle order, as they like to be called, stood up and were counted. They have a target to get 100 runs in the last four wickets and they did that well in the first innings. They kept us very close.
“The way Dieter Klein played. he deserved a hundred. He played beautifully and has worked really hard on his game. Parky [Callum Parkinson] is a chatterbox, a character in the dressing room, and has shown some true character with the bat, He did a great job for us this morning taking it through until lunch.
“Paul Horton batted beautifully. He has been battling and working on hard on his game and it really showed. Mark Cosgrove has been getting starts but has not gone big yet this season. So, for Cozzie to spend close to 200 balls out on this wicket in a horrible situation for him to bat in, he did really well.”
With the Foxes’ task clear heading into the final day – to see the day out still at the crease – having been bowled all out in just under a day's play the day prior, the squad was confident in their ability to go out and carry out the task at hand successfully:
Nixon said: “The guys know that they are good enough players to do that. We knew that they were slightly more tired as they made us follow on, and we knew that the steel in their bowlers was not quite where it was in the first innings because they were a bit more tired and had heavy legs.”
Having successfully batted out the final day, there are positives to take from the performance into the next fixture at the Fischer County Ground against Middlesex.
“All of our batters have contributed at some stage and spent good time at the wicket – especially Mark Cosgrove and Paul Horton,” he said.
“You want your leaders and your senior players to be in good form and hitting the ball in good positions and they have done that over the past few days.”
Leicestershire get straight back into Specsavers County Championship action on Monday (10 June) as Middlesex CCC make the trip to the Fischer County Ground.
* Click HERE to watch the full interview with Paul Nixon.