Chesney Hughes’ magnificent unbeaten 171 has helped put Derbyshire in a commanding position after Day 1 of their LV= County Championship fixture with Yorkshire at Headingley Carnegie.
The 22-year-old hit 25 fours and 3 sixes in his career-best innings, as the left-handed batsman shared a tremendous 258-run second-wicket stand with Wayne Madsen moving Derbyshire onto 268-1 after tea.
But the Derbyshire captain fell seven runs short of his century as the visitors lost three quick wickets in the final session, but Hughes and Dan Redfern (14*) guided Karl Krikken's side to 302-4 at the close on a excellent opening day.
Speaking after the close, Madsen said: "Chesney has been magnificent today. He has been very disciplined throughout the day and has had a steady head. He has played some tremendous shots and thoroughly deserves his career-best score.
"Personally, I was a little disappointed to get out so close to my century. It was the first one of the day that I had a little feel at which I shouldn’t have.
"But it was a terrific partnership with Chesney. Watching from the changing room it seemed that the wicket seemed to not have as much pace as the previous matches. It was important that we judged the wicket and remained disciplined and we managed to do that.
"It has been a fantastic day and it is good that we have a decent score on the board after Day 1, especially after losing the toss this morning. Hopefully we can carry on tomorrow and get up over 400 and towards the 500 mark."
After an early rain shower the start was delayed by 45 minutes and unfortunately for the visiting skipper, Andrew Gale won the toss and asked Derbyshire to bat first in overcast conditions.
The home side would get the early breakthrough they were craving for as Billy Godleman gloved a lifting delivery from England all-rounder Tim Bresnan which was caught at third slip by Joe Root for 2.
But that would be the only wicket of the morning session as Hughes and Madsen produced a decent partnership worth 79-runs up until the Lunch interval, with Derbyshire on 89-1.
The pair continued where they had left off after the restart producing some excellent shots to find the boundary on a regular basis in the afternoon session. Hughes was first to his half century from 92 balls, cutting Jack Brooks to the off-side boundary as the visitors also passed three figures at Headingley.
His Captain followed shortly after completing the feat from 113 balls with an excellent drive through the covers off Bresnan as Derbyshire moved onto 142-1 from 45 overs.
Hughes would kick-on after completing his 50, hitting some exquisite shots through both sides of the field and a six over deep square-leg off Bresnan moved the Anguilla-born all-rounder into the 90s.
And the left-handed batsman wasted no time in reaching three figures hitting his second maximum of the innings off Adil Rashid a long way over long-on to complete a magnificent century, from 160 balls, in style.
The pair batted throughout the afternoon and passed 200 with the penultimate ball of the session to enter tea on 204-1 from 61 overs.
The Derbyshire onslaught persisted after the interval, as the Captain edged towards three figures. But he first had to applaud his partner once again, as Hughes brought up his 150 with another maximum off Rashid from 222 balls.
But Madsen fell agonisingly short to a century of his own as he was caught by Lyth off Steven Patterson for 93, to end the excellent partnership worth 258 runs.
Derbyshire suffered another double set-back before the close losing both Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Wes Durston, but Dan Redfern (14*) and Hughes remained firm to close on 304-2.
Hughes closed the day unbeaten on a career best 171, beating his previous first-class best of 167, and the 22-year-old will resume in the morning with Derbyshire hoping to build a large first innings total.
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