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Experienced duo lead the way on Day One

Thursday 6th April 2023
Photography by: David Griffin

Wayne Madsen (87) and Billy Godleman (70) showed their experience as Derbyshire made a positive start to the 2023 season against Worcestershire at The Incora County Ground.

39-year-old Madsen, last season’s leading run scorer in the competition, launched his 15th season for the county with 87 from 134 balls before Derbyshire lost late wickets to close on 300 for 8.

Godleman set the tempo by hitting three sixes in a 61 ball 70 after Worcestershire had put Derbyshire in on a rain affected opening day in Derby.

Derbyshire were well set at 189 for 3 but Matthew Waite led a fightback to finish with impressive figures of 3 for 43 from 14 overs.

A wet outfield prevented any play before lunch but the ground was bathed in bright sunshine when Worcestershire decided to bowl first.

It looked a good toss to win but a combination of Goldeman’s intent and poor bowling saw Derbyshire seize the initiative from the start.

Haider Ali is expected to provide some pyrotechnics at the top of the order but it was Godleman who lit the fuse on an encouraging first day for the home side.

Even Joe Leach, who settled into an early rhythm, was treated dismissively at times while Josh Tongue was flayed from the attack after three overs.

In past seasons Goldeman has veered between obduracy and outright aggression but even so Leach looked surprised when Derbyshire’s former captain waltzed down the pitch and dispatched him over the long off boundary.

Tongue was cut and driven for four boundaries in the sixth over which prompted Brett D’Oliveira to call on Waite who broke through immediately.

Haider was lured into playing at a wide swinging ball which he dragged into his stumps and when Leach nipped one back to defeat Brooke Guest in the next over, Worcestershire thought they had gained a measure of control.

But that brought in Madsen, who made 1,273 championship runs in 2022, to drive the scoring rate along at above five an over.

Ben Gibbon struggled with his length and was hammered for three consecutive fours by Madsen who helped himself to nine more on his way to 50.

Goldeman reached his 50 off only 42 balls and hit Leach for two more sixes before he whipped the seamer low to midwicket where Gibbon held a good catch.

Leach had Leus du Plooy dropped at gully shortly before tea which did not come soon enough for Tongue and Gibbon who between them had conceded 80 runs from 11 overs.

Both improved after the interval as the bowlers got more assistance when the floodlights were turned on although it was a poor shot from du Plooy, driving loosely at Gibbon, that gave Worcestershire a fourth wicket.

Waite had found swing throughout the day and late movement pinned Madsen lbw to give Worcestershire a productive end to the day.

Matt Lamb was run out by a direct hit from gully before Anuj Dal edged Waite low to third slip where Adam Hose took a fine diving catch.

Zak Chappell and Ben Aitchison added 59 for the eighth wicket as Derbyshire claimed two batting points but Worcestershire had fought back well after the day threatened to run away from them.

Godleman said: “We put pressure on their bowlers from ball one although it looked a good toss to win with conditions leading up to the game.

“We also knew that with the outfield and run-ups it didn’t always look easy to bowl so if we could wrestle the initiative early and show some intent we could score quickly.

“I’m open to whatever reason it is that I’m moving and striking the ball nicely at the minute but it is only one innings and it is only 70, not 170.

“I’m really enjoying how I’m moving and playing with the clarity of my game plans and with the work and support from the coaches, it all feels like it’s coming together.

“We lost a session essentially but because we scored so quickly it almost takes that first session out of play because we scored at such a quick rate.

“I do think from the position we were in after the first third of the day we would have wanted at least 350 and that’s still a possibility.”


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