A fighting century by Wesley Madsen provided the backbone to an otherwise tentative display of batting by Derbyshire as they were shot out for 219 in their LV Championship Division II match at New Road today.
Worcestershire in reply reached stumps at 31-0 condensing all the honours of the day to themselves. Daryl Mitchell and Matthew Pardoe were at their watchful best as they made peace with the 16 tricky overs which was left on Day 2 before stumps. Saeed Ajmal took four late order wickets, while Gareth Andrew, who bowled splendidly in the morning session, and Charles Morris shared three wickets apiece.
Earlier, Captain Madsen stood like a rock striking 14 boundaries in a marathon knock, his 16th first class hundred, which lasted 244 balls. He never found the relief such a knock warranted as wickets falling around him was a constant theme of the day. It seemed they were off to an auspicious start though, as the overnight pair, Madsen and Shivnarine Chanderpaul fronted up to the apparent swing that was on offer under the cloudy skies.
Chanderpaul’s dismissal, LBW to Andrew for 32, just before lunch was a key moment in the match with it providing the impetus Worcestershire yearned for after yielding nothing for a concentrated spell of bowling in the morning. Chesney Hughes followed soon after, again LBW to Andrew, for a duck to leave the Falcons in deep trouble. It was compounded when Ajmal, playing his first match after receiving the long awaited go ahead by Pakistan Cricket Board, decided to rearrange his wickets column.
First to fall was Wes Durston for two before Dan Hodgson, on loan from Yorkshire, did no favours for his new county falling to Ajmal leaving him on a hat-trick. Admirably, from then onwards the visitors’ tail gave sufficient company to Madsen, helping him reach his century.
David Wainwright (10), Toni Palladino (11), Tim Groenewald (24), Mark Footitt (17) all put a price tag on their wickets, which enabled Madsen to add invaluable 136 runs for the final four wickets.
Worcestershire top order could have easily surrendered the advantage given to them by their excellent bowlers, but Mitchell and Pardoe was in no mood to do so.
The sun was a welcome sight after an opening day which was washed off and with an encouraging forecast for tomorrow, Cricket will be the focal point of the day again instead of the depressing umbrellas and raincoats.