Derbyshire batsman Chesney Hughes is certain his game is more suited to first-class cricket than the shorter forms - and can point to statistical evidence to back up his assertion.A powerful left-hander, the Anguilla-born Hughes is undoubtedly an imposing presence at the crease and has no problem in finding - and clearing - boundaries.However, he insists observers would be wise to look beyond his physical stature. Indeed, his average of 35 in four-day cricket compares favourably with a corresponding List A mark of 24."Everything says that I should be a good one-day player. I am a West Indian; I am a big lad, so it is easy for commentators to say that I smash it, but I play better in four-day cricket when I don't play as many shots," Hughes told ecb.co.uk."Because of my figure it is easy for them to say that I am a big hitter but I have always felt more comfortable when I have played four-day cricket and my statistics can prove that."I score a lot more runs in four-day cricket, I am still trying to learn in the one-day game and become a better one-day player but I am a better four-day player than a one-day player."Hughes certainly demonstrated his prowess in Derbyshire's LV= County Championship meeting with Yorkshire at Headingley a month ago.In carrying his bat for a stunning 270, he not only recorded the highest score of the summer to date, but fell agonisingly short of a Derbyshire record that has stood since the 19th century.When last man Tim Groenewald departed for a five-ball duck on day two in Leeds, Hughes was only four shy of the 274 compiled by George Davidson in 1896, which remains the county's most substantial first-class score.
Despite missing out on a notable landmark, Hughes understandably looks back on the innings with a great deal of pride."I was very, very pleased with it, Unfortunately we lost the game in the end, which was a dampener, but on a personal level I was pretty pleased with my performance," said Hughes."At lunchtime I knew what the record was. I was on 235, so I knew how much I needed. I was pretty aware of the record all the way through and that was the next milestone I was aiming for."I was a bit unfortunate I didn't get there in the end but that doesn't take away from the hard work and what I had achieved in the first two days of the game."Hughes' 270, which came after he had been drafted in to fulfil a relatively unfamiliar opening role, also represented a significant boost for a player who made only one four-day appearance as Derbyshire marched to the Division Two title in 2012."I try and take all of the positives I can out of the game and last year was a learning experience for me," Hughes admitted."It made me not relax on my game, it made me work harder and it made me appreciate every time I play for the first team and play a first-class game."It was a good thing for me, because now I work hard at my game and think about my game a lot more and as a result I am enjoying my cricket a lot more now."Following their promotion, Derbyshire have yet to record a top-flight victory - yet morale remains high among Karl Krikken's squad.With two championship home games - including the fixture against Surrey that starts today - and a visit to local rivals Nottinghamshire to come prior to the Friends Life t20 campaign getting under way, Hughes is aware the next few weeks could prove pivotal."We have let opportunities slip by," he explained. "If we were getting beaten comprehensively the whole way through then we can look back and say we are probably not good enough, but the lads know we are good enough and haven't played well enough for small periods."In all of the games, we have played well apart from an hour or two in a session where we lose too many wickets or the run-rate gets away from us and then we have to play catch up."But we fancy ourselves at home; we play well at home, so the home games coming up are massive. "The home game against Surrey is a massive game for us. We need to play well and take momentum over to Trent Bridge against Nottinghamshire. We still feel very confident for the next couple of games."