Wayne Madsen becomes just the tenth batsman in Derbyshire’s history to record a score of 50 or more on 100 occasions in all forms of the game.
The 34-year-old’s 144 in the first innings of the Specsavers County Championship match at Edgbaston was his 26th first class hundred for Derbyshire, and the 200th scored by Derbyshire’s batsmen in this form of cricket in the 21st century.
Heritage Officer, David Griffin, examines Madsen’s achievement and looks at where he stands alongside the best of Derbyshire’s run-scorers.
To date, 697 players have donned the rose and crown of Derbyshire in a first team game, and whilst runs scored doesn’t solely define a batsman, they go a long way to confirming their ability, skill and determination to succeed, especially over a long period of time.
The leading Derbyshire batsmen are well-known names, and cover the eras around the second world war, and the modern game. Post-1969, the game has been frequently dominated by overseas players, although John Wright, the fine opening batsman from New Zealand, and Derbyshire’s longest-serving overseas player, is the only imported cricketer in the top ten list which Madsen has now joined.
The top ten players are as follows;
|Name||F/C 100s||F/C 50s||List A 100s||List A 50s||T20 100s||T20 50s||All 50s & 100s|
The rate at which these players produced an innings of 50-plus runs is interesting.
It’s little surprise that players who played predominantly on uncovered pitches – Smith, Townsend, Worthington and Hill, scored 50-plus every five or six innings, but the modern players hover somewhere between just over three and just over four.
By way of comparison, Donald Bradman made a score of 50-plus every 1.8 innings, Barry Richards every 2.7 innings, Vivian Richards every three innings, and WG Grace every 3.9 innings.
The following table shows how frequently – on average – each of Derbyshire’s top ten players with 100 or more 50s and 100s to their name, reached 50 or more;
|Name||All 50s & 100s||Inns||Innings per 50-plus score|
Madsen, of course, is the only one of the top 10 to play Twenty20 cricket, which may have been a benefit to him…or, arguably, not. Batting averages in the shortest form of the game tend to be significantly lower than in List A and first-class cricket, and players often sacrifice their wicket in the interests of the side as the playing situation determines.
The batsmen with the best ratio of 50-plus scores per innings were all opening batsmen; Barnett, Bowler and Wright, and the positions of Barnett, Bowler and Morris in the top four in this list will come as no surprise, considering that they are the only English-born batsmen to average over 40 for Derbyshire in first class cricket over the course of their entire careers.
Worthy of note are three players outside the top ten, all from overseas, who delighted Derbyshire spectators with their stroke play; Michael Di Venuto, Peter Kirsten and Chris Rogers. As befits their stature as top-class overseas players, their ratio of 50-plus scores per innings is also excellent, with Rogers making such a score every 2.6 innings, although, of course, he did only complete 134 innings for the county.
|Michael Di Venuto||85||283||3.3|
Madsen recorded a century on his first-class debut at Cheltenham in 2009 and has played consistently well in all formats of the game ever since, and his rise towards the upper echelons of Derbyshire’s greatest batsmen has been largely relentless.
Although there were many observers who thought he would be limited to first-class cricket when he first joined Derbyshire, it didn’t take him long to establish a permanent role in the shorter forms of the game and prove to be as effective as any batsman in the country in Twenty20 cricket.
It will be interesting to see where Madsen finishes in this table once his career is over; the modern county game offers an average of 40 innings per season, so at his current rate, he could expect to record 10 or so 50-plus scores per summer, meaning that by the end of 2021, he would sit second in the table behind the unsurpassable Barnett.
Regardless, Madsen has proven himself to be the best of Derbyshire’s 21st century batsman over the course of a 10-season career, and whatever he achieves in the future, his reputation is assured.
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