Prizes may not be on offer for Yorkshire during the final month of the summer, but there remains plenty to play for in the eyes of captain Shan Masood.

The county have four remaining games in the LV= Insurance County Championship, starting against Derbyshire at Scarborough on Sunday (10.30am).

Masood and co currently sit bottom of Division Two, with one win, two defeats and seven draws in 10 games. Their position at the foot of the table is due to the ECB’s 48-point deduction.

While satisfied with their level of performance against the red ball this summer, including victory over Derbyshire at Chesterfield in June, Masood says there are still things to work on ahead of a promotion push in 2024.

The Pakistani batter will be back at the helm for that campaign, his second of a two-year overseas deal at Yorkshire.

Heading to North Marine Road to face a Derbyshire side who sit sixth in the table, Masood said: “For us, it’s about starting the month really on the offensive, getting a result and hopefully cracking on for the other three games.

“It will be good to have some of the experienced players back and to finish the season on a high.

“Yes, we’d like to drill in a few things. But, in four-day cricket, I think we’ve been playing good cricket a lot of the time.

“Weather hasn’t been on our side, and we could have had a lot of good results. We’re very happy with how we’ve played four-day cricket.”

Picture by Stu Forster/Getty Images. Shan Masood on the drive. 

In regards to the things Masood would like to see his team work on, he said: “A good thing to see would be how regularly can we pick 20 wickets up.

“That’s the one of the big things when I captain four-day sides. My focus is on 20 wickets and scoring at a decent enough rate that can allow you more time in the match to pick those wickets up. 

“The batting and bowling works in tandem.

“How can we create chances, whether it’s with the bat to create more time in the game or something with the field or with the ball? “There are a lot of things to ponder, but it’s exciting times and we’re really looking forward to those four games.”

Coach Ottis Gibson has spoken about an aim for this month being to gain enough points to be able to look at the table at the end of the season and say, ‘We would have been promoted with the 48 points added on’.

To do that, Yorkshire will need to add to the thrilling win they picked up against Masood’s former county at Chesterfield in July, when they won by three wickets during the fourth morning as they chased 212.

Masood hit a superb unbeaten 95 to anchor things after Derbyshire had fought back impressively from being bowled out in the first innings for 111 and conceding a lead of 252.

Derbyshire then fell to 17-4 second time around before captain Leus du Plooy hit 170 and Pakistani overseas batter Haider Ali 146 to lead them to 453 all out. 

When Dawid Malan fell to the first ball of day four, Yorkshire were 147-7. But Masood and Dom Bess – he hit 41 not out – got the visitors home with an unbroken 68 stand.

“We’d done so much good work in the game that even with their recovery, we still had our noses in front,” Masood recalled “Probably from 90 percent to 10 percent, it went down to 60/40 or 55/45.

“Again, I think we’ve played some decent four-day cricket. But we’d like some sort of really polished finishes in these four matches.”

Masood was absent for Yorkshire’s first Championship game of this season at Scarborough, the rainy draw against Durham at the end of July. He was on Test duty with Pakistan in Sri Lanka.

It means this will be his first four-day match at North Marine Road as a Yorkshire player, though he did play against Kent there in last month’s Metro Bank One-Day Cup. 

He has also previously played an Under 19s Test for Pakistan against England there – in August 2007. England won by an innings and 58 runs, with Adam Lyth posting 122 from number three. 

Scarborough

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Scarborough CC. 

Lyth will be one of the senior players Masood referenced earlier who will be available again following Hundred duty.

Derbyshire are sixth in Division Two after 10 games. They have lost three and drawn seven so far. They sit on 82 points, 52 behind second-placed Worcestershire with a game in hand.

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