Derbyshire 283-9 (du Plooy 115, Tye 6-65)
Australia A 287-3 (Wade 155, Head 68, Taylor 2-66)
Australia A won by 7 wickets
I am old enough to remember the days when a game against a touring side was something special.
For the players it was an opportunity to test themselves against the best, while for supporters it was a chance to see players they had not seen before, or only on television. Counties fielded their full first elevens as a matter of course.
Today's visit of the Australian A side was interesting, although several members of their side already have experience in the colours of various counties. Derbyshire, meanwhile, with a small squad, fielded a, largely youthful and inexperienced attack.
Having won the toss, the visitors decided to have a bowl and were rewarded with two early wickets. Godleman, having looked in fine touch, played around a straight one from Michael Neser, while Tom Lace will not look back on his dismissal with any fondness, playing at one he should have left alone.
A partnership between Wayne Madsen and Leus du Plooy was always going to be one for the aesthetes and produced both sumptuous stroke play and intelligent running. Madsen produced his full one-day repertoire, while his partner continues to look a player of the very highest class. He has so much time, always the sign of a good player, and they took the score past a hundred without incident. Wayne must have been disappointed to flick one off his toes to the waiting fielder when a hundred, let alone fifty, looked there for the taking.
The partnership had added 89 and another of 52 followed as Hughes joined du Plooy. A straight six aside, Alex struggled for timing and he eventually gave a catch to point. Matt Critchley was much the same, suggesting batting was not especially easy against a keen and accurate attack. Neser, Abbott and Tye dragged Derbyshire back and both batsmen perished in a similar, mistimed manner to the cover field.
Du Plooy had been more conservative as he approached a maiden century for the county but reached it, in the grandest of manners, with a straight 6. It was fully deserved and served to highlight further what a quality player we have picked up.
Fynn Hudson-Prentice was rightly elevated in the order and showed promise with some powerful strokes, before holing out in the deep as the overs ran out. Du Plooy finally perished for an excellent 115, caught behind from one that would likely have been called wide if left alone, but he had followed a century against the touring Sri Lankan side in South Africa with this fine display.
Anuj Dal showed his trademark running and some powerful shots to take the score to a respectable 283-9. It looked unlikely to be enough, with a second team attack bowling at a strong batting side, but it ensured a game, at least. Andrew Tye bowled well to take 6-65 for the visitors.
What followed was brutal. After Short edged Taylor to Madsen at slip, who took a sharp catch, Matthew Wade bludgeoned his way to a second successive tour century, following on from one against Northamptonshire.
What an asset someone like that would be to any side in the T20! His power and placement were simply astonishing and while one has to recognise the moderate attack, so one could only admire his talent. By the time it ended, Wade had hit 155 from 71 balls and ended the game as a contest. It was the second fastest List A century scored against Derbyshire, the 45 balls taken second only to Shahid Afridi's 42-ball effort for Hampshire in 2017. Yet for power and placement this was a far better innings.
I'm not sure why he felt the need to bat on, having reached his ton, and maybe colleagues might have enjoyed time in the middle, but it was spectacular batting.
Head, who played a good innings himself, fell in trying to match his partner, playing on as Taylor took pace off the ball, but the run chase was, complete inside 36 overs.
Credit must be given to Mark Watt, the only bowler to command respect in the face of the onslaught, though the figures of the rest may have been more palatable bar for Wade's astonishing onslaught.