Alex Hughes celebrated his county cap with an imperious century as Derbyshire dominated the second day of their Specsavers’ County Championship game against Gloucestershire
ECB Reporters Network26-Sep-2017
Gloucestershire 47 for 1 trail Derbyshire 460 (Hughes 142, Madsen 121) by 413 runs
Alex Hughes celebrated his county cap with an imperious century as Derbyshire dominated the second day of their Specsavers’ County Championship game against Gloucestershire at the Brightside Ground, Bristol.
It had been something of an anti-climax last week when Hughes, 26 later this week, was awarded his cap on the second day of the washed-out championship game against Kent at Chesterfield. However, he wasted little time in further confirming his quality this week. Not only did he post his career best first-class score, but he featured heavily in a 233-run stand for the third wicket with fellow centurion Wayne Madsen.
When bad light brought about an early finish, Gloucestershire were 47 for 1, in response to Derbyshire’s impressive 460 all out.
The pair had come together on a rain-affected first day, at 74 for 2, and took Derbyshire to 307 for 3, in mid-afternoon on day two. Madsen, who in terms of first-class runs scored has endured his worst season since arriving at Derbyshire in 2009, made up for lost time with his 25th first-class hundred, whilst Hughes continued to prosper on a day dominated by the batsmen.
The visitors made excellent progress throughout the day with Madsen, who resumed on 24 not out, reaching fifty off 81 balls and his hundred off 175 deliveries with 17 fours. His innings also took him through 10,000 first-class runs, of which all but 1,308 of them have come in Derbyshire colours.
Gloucestershire had one or two opportunities to prise the pair apart during the first session, but a dropped catch at first slip when Hughes was on 11 and a missed run out opportunity with Madsen on 52, were to prove costly.
Derbyshire, having received the luck their positive approach fully deserved, looked in total control thereafter. Hughes, whose fifty came up off 119 balls, brought up his fourth first-class century and second against Gloucestershire in as many seasons, off 204 balls with 15 fours. It was an outstanding contribution, albeit on a wicket with precious few demons.
Gloucestershire eventually made the breakthrough between lunch and tea, when Josh Shaw had Madsen caught behind. Medium pacer Benny Howell picked up his side’s fourth wicket when he bowled Matt Critchley and Gary Wilson followed to Matt Taylor as Derbyshire reached 355 for 5.
By then, however, the damage had been done and although Hughes was finally out in the post tea session for 142, the visitors, providing they bowl well on days three and four, had laid the foundations of a potentially match-winning total. Harry Podmore and Harvey Hosein added 70 for the seventh wicket and Gloucestershire, for whom Matt Taylor and Tom Smith helped themselves to three wickets apiece, were left to respond with the bat. By the close, they were still 413 runs adrift with nine wickets in hand after Hardus Viljoen trapped Chris Dent lbw.
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