A century from Derbyshire skipper Wayne Madsen has put his side into a commanding position heading into the third day of the County Championship game at Derby despite a first Surrey five wicket haul for Chris Tremlett.
Tremlett collected figures of 5-95 but Madsen struck 152 in his side’s 452 all out, before Surrey closed on 35-1.
With Derbyshire starting the morning on 232-2, early wickets were an absolute must if we were going to restrict the hosts to under 350. However, the pitch was still playing as well as the previous evening, and Madsen joined Chanderpaul in reaching 3 figures. They took their partnership onto 265, the highest for Derby against us for any wicket, before Meaker finally made the breakthrough when a sharp bouncer was gloved to Ponting in the gully to remove Chanderpaul for 129.
Wes Durston didn’t hang around too long as Tremlett had him caught behind for his second wicket, but Derby were still in control come lunch time, as they went in on 335-4. According to Marcus Hook, the bowlers spent time in the middle during lunch time, and that seemed to do the trick as Tremlett first had debutant Slater caught behind, before Meaker bowled Madsen for a superb 159 an over later. An opening had been made, and the bowlers applied pressure and stopped the runs from flowing, but David Wainwright and Richard Johnson frustrated the Surrey attack and built a good lower order partnership.
They took their side towards 400 before Meaker had Wainwright caught at third man just before tea. Early into the final session Linley bowled Tim Groenewald before Tremlett did the same to Mark Turner to leave Derby 9 down. Johnson though was still there, and brought up a good fifty with a single off Linley. 37 was put on for the final wicket with Mark Footitt before Tremlett had Johnson caught by Wilson at slip for his 5.
452 was a daunting first innings score by Derby and had gone a long way to batting us out of the game, and the start we made to our innings made things even harder. Rory Burns looked to come back for a third off the last ball of the first over but was run out by a Madsen direct hit for 4. The worst way to get out in the circumstances and Burns was obviously distraught with what he had done.
Solanki and Harinath had a job on their hands for the remaining hour’s play but the pitch was still good and they had little alarms by closing just the one wicket down.
So that was a better performance than yesterday, but I still feel that we missed an opportunity. When we had them 6 down for 336 we needed to restrict them to well below 400 after the big partnerships between Shiv and Madsen. However, that wasn’t to be and the lower order put on some vital runs. I’m happy for Trem as he has worked hard and finally been rewarded, and it’s great to see him get through over 30 overs in an innings, but the other bowlers couldn’t back him up which allowed Derby to reach 452.
Burns just had a moment to forget and I’m sure he won’t be doing that again quickly. On another day Madsen’s throw would have missed and he would have survived but it wasn’t to be and he is certainly regretting turning for the 3rd.
We mustn’t lose this game and unfortunately that is the mind-set we now have to take heading into tomorrow, with victory looking unlikely.