Reece leads the way with brilliant century

Monday 24th June 2024
& News
Photography by: David Griffin, report by ECB Writers' Network

Derbyshire opener Luis Reece posted a maiden Lord’s hundred to lead his side’s steady response with the bat in their Vitality County Championship game against Middlesex.

The 33-year-old left-hander shared a third-wicket stand of 111 with Wayne Madsen and brought up his century from 176 balls to reach stumps unbeaten on 123.

The visitors closed at 308 for four, trailing by 125 after Middlesex had totalled 433 in their first innings, with overnight centurion Ryan Higgins last batter out for 163.

Higgins, whose partnership of 71 with Ethan Bamber set a county record for the last wicket against Derbyshire, has now overtaken Northamptonshire’s Emilio Gay to become Division Two’s leading run-scorer this season.

Handily-placed on 342 for seven overnight, Middlesex lost captain Toby Roland-Jones for 52 in the third over, driving to mid-on where opposite number David Lloyd sprang forward to take the catch.

With Henry Brookes soon following, trapped leg before by a ball from Zak Chappell that kept low, it looked as though a fourth batting point might elude the home side – but Higgins and Bamber determined otherwise.

Bamber looked accomplished at the crease, compiling an unbeaten 21 as he chopped Daryn Dupavillon to the fence and Higgins raised the tempo, lifting Sam Conners for three leg-side sixes.

A rare untidy shot by Higgins, top-edging Conners over slip for four, took him beyond 150 and it was Reece who eventually wrapped up the innings as Madsen – narrowly avoiding a collision with Conners – gathered Higgins’ slog-sweep in front of the rope.

That left Derbyshire six pre-lunch overs to negotiate and Lloyd started positively, punching Bamber off the back foot for two boundaries before he was caught at point trying to do it a third time.

Brooke Guest looked in good touch after the interval, having just driven Roland-Jones to the cover boundary when he was undone by the next ball, which nipped back down the slope to strike middle and off.

By contrast, Reece played and missed several times at the start of his innings, surviving close calls when he edged Roland-Jones and Bamber through the slips before eventually settling into his stride.

The left-hander formed a solid alliance with Madsen, whose first six scoring shots all flew to the boundary and ushered the 40-year-old beyond the landmark of 14,000 first-class runs in Derbyshire colours.

Although leg-spinner Luke Hollman caused Madsen problems, with one inside edge flying just past the stumps, he looked poised to emulate Reece’s half-century until Brookes broke the partnership with a fearsome rising delivery in the first over after tea.

Madsen, on 49, attempted to fend the ball off and could only glove it to wicketkeeper Jack Davies – yet his dismissal did little to slow Derbyshire’s scoring rate as Reece and Matt Lamb began to accelerate.

Lamb targeted the short boundary in a breezy 30 before Davies, standing up to the stumps, took a sharp catch off Higgins, but the keeper was unable to hold on to another chance soon afterwards when Bamber found Aneurin Donald’s inside edge.

Donald, who had yet to get off the mark at that stage, took advantage to progress to 43 not out as Derbyshire pocketed their second batting bonus point prior to stumps.

Derbyshire batter WAYNE MADSEN, who scored 49 in a partnership of 111 with Luis Reece, said:

“Middlesex had the better of the morning in terms of what they were able to add to their overnight score, but I thought we stuck to it with the bat in the afternoon.

“We were positive, we showed good intent and scored freely, which was crucial in terms of shifting that pressure in the game and, if we have another good session in the morning, it really puts us in a strong position in this game.

“It was amazing for Reecy. I actually didn’t see it because I was running out of the pavilion to attend to something but he’s worked really hard there to get us in a position where we can have a chance to win the game.

“Personally, for him to play like that at a place like Lord’s is really special and I know he’s buzzing. We know how freely Aneurin (Donald) can score and if Reecy can do what he’s done today again tomorrow, it’ll set this game up nicely for us.

“I was happy with how I played, obviously disappointed not to kick on, but the partnership we were able to put on stood us in good stead. It was a pretty decent ball that got me out, there’s no complaints with the shot I played or anything like that.”


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