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Gloucestershire vs Derbyshire - Specsavers County Championship

Thursday 21st April 2016
Written by Danny Painter

Chesney Hughes scored 96 and 137 not out, as well as taking three wicket in a first-class match for the first time, as Derbyshire and Gloucestershire drew at Bristol.

Hughes’ 96 helped Derbyshire scored 444 from their first innings with Wayne Madsen top-scoring, hitting a superb 150 to help his team into a good position.

Gloucestershire, however, managed to secure a 119-run first-innings lead as they hit 563 thanks to centuries from Chris Dent (180) and Liam Norwell (102).

The game would peter out to a draw though, despite the best efforts of Hughes and Hamish Rutherford on the final day, hitting 137 not out and 78 respectively, as the visitors declared on 260-2 to end the game as a draw.

Derbyshire started their 2016 championship campaign at Bristol where, in the absence of new skipper, Billy Godleman, with a broken thumb, his vice-captain, Rutherford, chose not to take advantage of the new regulation which allows the visiting team to choose to bowl first if they wish. Derbyshire then won the toss and chose to bat first on a bright but cold day.

Ben Slater and Hughes were made to work hard at first on a pitch which was not as trustworthy as had been expected. They survived until lunch, taken at 96 from thirty-two overs, but Slater was out soon afterwards. New Zealand’s Rutherford fell quickly, so Hughes was joined by Wayne Madsen. There followed an unusually slow grafting session as Gloucestershire’s mainly seam attack bowled thirty-two more overs while only 45 runs were scored.

Madsen was made to concentrate almost entirely on defence: at one stage he had scored only nine from 94 balls, but then he hit three boundaries from the next four balls he faced. Hughes was disappointed to miss an attempted pull which would have brought up his hundred (he had made 96 from 206 balls). Now Neil Broom came in for his maiden first-class innings for Derbyshire and this pair stayed together for the rest of the day which saw the total reach 242 for three.

On the cloudy second morning, Derbyshire lost three wickets to slip to a 266 for six. Tom Poynton was another who was made to work hard for his runs, but he battled well and stayed long enough for Madsen to reach a hard-earned hundred (276 balls). Poynton went on the record his first fifty for three seasons and he helped Madsen to add 128 for the seventh wicket, a new Derbyshire record for this wicket against these opponents.

The late-order batsmen hit a few runs of their own and Madsen went on to reach his 150 (328 balls 21 fours) just before he was last out with Derbyshire having made 444 from 157.1 overs. The conditions for batting seemed to have improved as Gloucestershire went out to bat, and their openers were equal to their task as they batted for almost 30 overs before Bancroft left a straight one from Shiv Thakor to be bowled. Play finished two overs early as the light deteriorated with the hosts on 110 for one, Dent having reached a fluent 61.

The third day was most definitely one for the home side: Gloucestershire batted all day in good batting conditions against a tiring attack. Tail-ender Liam Norwell who had come in as night-watchman stayed until the lunch interval and beyond. Together with his senior partner, Chris Dent, he stayed while 168 runs were added for the second wicket. In doing so, Norwell reached his first hundred (126 balls; 14 fours, 3 sixes) in any class of cricket before he was eventually dismissed by Hughes.

Thereafter runs flowed much more easily than on the previous two days, so Gloucestershire were able to earn their fifth batting point with some time to spare. Marshall and Noema-Barnett both passed fifty at about a run a ball, while Howell hit four sixes in his 41. Dent was eventually bowled (after 306 balls; 21 fours, 2 sixes) hitting across the line to a well-flighted ball from Hughes who took three wickets in a first-class innings for the first time. Luke Fletcher, on a month’s loan from Nottinghamshire, and Andy Carter had shared the new ball in their first games for Derbyshire and they both took their first wickets for their new county.

Gloucestershire were finally dismissed for 563, only fourteen runs short of their highest-ever total against Derbyshire. The visitors were 119 runs in arrears on the first innings with a whole day’s play remaining.

On the final day, Slater was very unlucky to be the first to go as he was run out by a deflection by the bowler from a strong straight drive by Hughes. Rutherford played with care to ensure that there were no further mishaps before lunch, which was taken with the score on 105 for one. Hughes and Rutherford continued until their partnership had reached 174, by which time the game was drifting towards the expected draw. Rutherford was caught at extra cover as he reached to drive a wide half-volley, and this proved to be the only wicket to fall to a bowler during the whole day.

Hughes completed his hundred and remained until the end, by which time he had scored 137 from 239 balls with 20 fours and one six. Madsen was his partner in the later part of the innings, and this pair added an undefeated eighty in twenty-two overs.

Derbyshire 444 (157.1 overs) (WL Madsen 150, CF Hughes 96, T Poynton 53, BT Slater 42, NT Broom 32; JMR Taylor 4 for 61, LC Norwell 4 for 104, DA Payne 2 for 61) and 260 for 2 dec (CF Hughes 137*, HD Rutherford 78, WL Madsen 27*)

Gloucestershire 563 (125.2 overs) (CDJ Dent 180, LC Norwell 102, HJH Marshall 72, K Noema-Barnett 58, CT Bancroft 41, BAC Howell 41; CF Hughes 3 for 87, WJ Durston 3 for 149, SJ Thakor 2 for 82)

Match Drawn (Gloucestershire 12 points, Derbyshire 8)

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