By any standards
this has been a terrific tour for Derbyshire.
Asked to bat on the first day of a two-day match, we ran up a not inconsiderable 276-3 by tea, Wayne Madsen making a fine hundred and Harvey Hosein (pictured) a highly impressive 92, with sixteen fours.
In reply, Worcestershire reached 103-2, with a wicket each for Tom Taylor and Wayne White.
The skipper's hundred had an air of inevitability about it. He is such a good player that his duck in the first innings of the tour came as an eye-opener, but he has been unbeaten in two innings since and will again, as he has been in recent summers, be the key man in our batting line up. Rarely in my experience has an English-qualified batsman (as he now is) exuded such an air of authority at the crease as Madsen, whose calm, unhurried demeanour at the crease is always a pleasure to watch.
As for Hosein, he looks an astonishing talent. Still only eighteen, his glove work is assured but his batting appears to have the potential of something special. Good judges were very impressed by the serenity of his half century off the Indian tourists last summer and he is another of the young brigade to throw down the gauntlet to a senior player and say 'I want that place'.
It is wonderful to see. Tom Poynton made good runs in the opening T20 of the tour and will probably be seen as the senior man, but Hosein looks set to push him all the way, which can only be good for both players and for the side as a whole.
Let's not forget that Worcestershire are a division one side this year, although I suspect they will find it tough to hang on to that status, especially if Moeen Ali is retained in the England setup.
Derbyshire will be doing everything to join or replace them in the top tier of 2016 and have done little wrong at this stage in that quest.
Very, very impressive.