Hughes scores ton on dominant day for Derbyshire

Tuesday 12th May 2015
Written by Danny Painter

Chesney Hughes scored his sixth first-class century as part of a 205-run opening partnership with Ben Slater to help put Derbyshire in a strong position going into the final day versus Northamptonshire.

Having begun the day unbeaten on 41 and 27 respectively, Hughes and Slater (94) batted throughout the morning session and into the afternoon to complete a double-century partnership and help Derbyshire set their visitors 427 to win. The hosts finally declared on 407-5, with Wayne Madsen adding an unbeaten 51 and Harvey Hosein hit 46 off 38 balls.

Mark Footitt then took two wickets in the final session – including one with the first ball – to reduce Northamptonshire to 40-2 at stumps, still requiring a further 387 more runs to win on Day Four with eight wickets in hand.

There were two short rain delays in the morning session, but the weather could do nothing to hamper the progress of Hughes and Slater.

Both played conservatively throughout but always looked in control. The pair passed the 100-run stand during the 47th over of the innings and continued to pile on the runs.

Hughes reached his first century since scoring 270 not out against Yorkshire in 2013 during the afternoon session before his controlled innings came to an end on 104 after he had faced 263 balls and scored 14 fours to take his side past 200.

His opening partner Slater fell just short of a century of his own when he edged David Willey (3-70) behind on 94 from 237 balls – an innings that included 17 fours.

Hashim Amla (20), Scott Elstone (25) and the enterprising Shiv Thakor (28 from 27 balls) all added important runs for their side to ensure that the total set would rise over 400.

Wayne Madsen and Harvey Hosein batted aggressively before the declaration, with Madsen hitting his second half-century of the first-class season from 83 balls and Hosein ending on 46 not out from just 38 balls.

There were eight overs left to be bowled in the day and it took Graeme Welch’s men claimed their first scalp with the first ball as Footitt removed Stephen Peters, caught at short mid-wicket by Elstone.

The left-arm quick had his second victim shortly after when Kyle Coetzer could only edge him through to Hosein for 11.

Night-watchman Azharullah counter-attacked for Northamptonshire and finished the day on 19 not out to help his side to 40-2 and set up a thrilling final day, with the visitors needing a further 387 runs and Derbyshire eight more wickets to win.

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