Derbyshire have just one more day of practice and training here in Barbados, and Wednesday saw the players take to the field in a semi-competitive game for the final time on this tour.
After Nottinghamshire had posted a formidable 386 in just over 87 overs on Tuesday, it was the turn of the Derbyshire batsmen to enjoy some time at the crease. There is still some cricket scheduled to be played pre-season in England, but these conditions – warm and dry – offered a perfect opportunity for the batsmen.
Wayne Madsen, batting for the first time on tour, opened with Billy Godleman in what is likely to be Derbyshire’s opening partnership come April 10th, and both batted confidently until Godleman pulled a Phillips delivery behind square leg where James Taylor took a good catch diving forwards. Godleman made 15 and his dismissal brought Ben Slater to the crease. At the Kensington Oval at the weekend the young left-hander batted sensibly and with no shortage of strokes during his two innings, and here he did likewise.
Slater was more than happy to leave anything that didn’t need to be played, however, waiting for the safer options for scoring on either side of the wicket until, after batting for 65 minutes he edged a delivery from Ball to Read behind the wicket. Slater’s first Barbados tour has been more than useful.
Madsen meanwhile, looked as though he had been batting for weeks, rather than having had no significant batting practice for some time. He soon got into his stride with several well-timed off drives and a couple of forcing square drives whenever the bowlers dropped short. He was adjudged lbw to Gurney having just passed 50.
Hughes again batted well utilising his reach and power as he struck 6 fours in his 31 before edging a delivery from Fletcher to Read. Both his innings at North Stars, and especially his hundred a week ago, make his case for inclusion in Derbyshire’s opening game at Edgbaston a strong one.
Durston rarely looks anything than stylish and his cover driving was to the fore from early in his innings, while his straight hitting off the spinner, White, was exemplary. He reached his 2nd half century of the tour from 49 balls with six 4s and two 6s shortly before tea.
However, nothing prepared anyone for the fireworks after tea – having reached 70, Durston struck the final 5 balls of a Graeme White’s over for 6 to reach a hugely entertaining century off 73 balls, at which point he turned on his heel and marched off, retired out for 100.
Coincidentally, rain began to fall for the first time on the tour as Durston left the field and the rest of the players followed him as play was halted for 37 minutes.
Upon the resumption, Derbyshire's two 'keepers came to the crease. Tom Poynton and Richard Johnson appear to have all to play for, with both impressing so far both with the bat and behind the stumps. Poynton scored 37 including four 4s and a six before Johnson and Wainwright batted out time leaving Derbyshire on 293-6 (including one retired out) when stumps were drawn.
The players return to North Stars on Thursday for their final training day of the tour before flying home on Friday. A tour assessment will appear on the website in due course.
To see the action photographs from the game please go to the gallery at http://www.derbyshireccc.com/dccc/index.php/component/igallery/dccc/barbados-the-journey/gallery-11-v-notts-day-2?Itemid=479
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