Derbyshire 338-9 (Reece 51, Godleman 51, Slater 48. Hughes 46)
It was bitter-sweet for Derbyshire today.
After Sussex elected to bowl, they would have hoped to bowl us out before the close, but resolute batting down the order ensured that we managed one of our better team displays with the bat. Frustratingly, once again a number of batsmen got starts, but none went past 51, on a day when the consensus was the home side bowled poorly.
Luis Reece batted as fluently as anyone and continued a fine season, his century stand with Ben Slater suggesting a major first innings score. When both departed with unseemly haste, Billy Godleman and Wayne Madsen continued to build, before Wayne was out leg before.
Yet the skipper and Alex Hughes built again and in the evening session, with the score 232-3, we were perhaps even contemplating the giddy heights of 400. Yet it all went pear-shaped after Billy's dismissal, soon after he was hit on the hand by an accidental beamer. This was later deemed a break and likely end to his season, with Wayne Madsen taking over as skipper for the rest of this game.
Alex Hughes again batted well and has only to turn these good knocks into special ones to become a fine county cricketer, but the length of the tail was confirmed by the sight of Harry Podmore (career average eight) batting in that position.
Yet from 287-8, the last two wickets have so far added 51 runs. Will Davis hit merrily, while Hamidullah Qadri suggested he wouldn't be eleven in the order for too long, as he supported Harvey Hosein in the day's closing overs. Harvey finished unbeaten on 38, and the two youngsters have an opportunity to take us to 350 tomorrow.
Not a bad effort, by any means, but perhaps an opportunity missed for something special on a wicket that Billy Godleman described as 'a good one where you could trust the sideways movement'.
We'll know more tomorrow, no doubt.
As well as getting a first look at our Viljoen/Davis pace pairing.