Monday, 18 April 2016
Gloucestershire v Derbyshire day 2 - Magnificent Madsen
Gloucestershire 110-1 (Dent 61 not, Thakor 1-23)
After slipping to 266-6 in the first hour this morning, cynics will have expected our batting to subside in time honoured fashion today. That we did not was largely down to an innings of consummate brilliance, concentration and stamina by Wayne Madsen.
Wayne made 150 from seven and three-quarter hours batting, a wonderful early season effort which emphasised how important his new winter contract is to the club. By the time it is finished, I fully expect him to have scored more centuries than almost any other Derbyshire batsman, leaving only the legend that is Kim Barnett ahead and even Denis Smith in his slipstream.
He needed support, of course and that came from Tom Poynton. In his hundredth match for Derbyshire, he passed a thousand first-class runs and showed a welcome return to the batting form we all know that he is capable of. Coming in at number eight, if he can produce a batting average of upwards of twenty to go with his excellent wicket-keeping, we will be a much better side.
444 was a solid total, one that gives you control of most matches, although our opening bowlers could perhaps have done better, according to reports, with the new ball. Both are fine players and I have no concerns over their ability to take wickets for us, but it appears they got the length wrong today, bowling too much short stuff. I am sure that Graeme Welch will have a quiet word about that before tomorrow morning.
First session wickets are more common at Bristol, just as they are at Derby, so a good first hour could yet see us take a stranglehold on the game. By the same token, the wicket is a long way from a death trap and at this stage the thinking money would be on a draw.
There's a lot of cricket to go, though and we are still in the ascendant in this one.