Classy Madsen takes control as Bears bowling injuries tot up
Warwickshire 32 for 1 trail Derbyshire 318 (Madsen 144, Brookes 4-63, Patel 4-94) by 286 runs
Wayne Madsen unfurled a century of high skill and courage as Warwickshire and Derbyshire swapped blows on an engrossing opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match at Edgbaston.
In a clash of Division Two's early-season front-runners, Derbyshire chose to bat and made 318, to which Warwickshire replied with 32 for 1 by the close.
The visitors' linchpin was Madsen who steered his side away from early trouble with a classy 144 from 203 balls, his 27th first-class century. It was completed despite a painful blow on the head from a Henry Brookes bouncer when the batsman had 82. After a seven-minutes-and-20-seconds delay for treatment, Madsen carried on with resolve undiminished to at least partially vindicate Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman's decision to bat first.
At 84 for 4 and 209 for 6, that decision looked dubious, but Madsen led determined resistance against a Warwickshire side which suffered another injury blow to its seam-bowling department during the day. Already without Olly Stone and Keith Barker, the Bears lost Ryan Sidebottom who suffered a side-strain midway through his tenth over in mid-afternoon.
Having chosen to bat, Derbyshire did so unevenly in the first session. Ben Slater looked set to continue his vibrant early-season form when he moved crisply to 16 but he top-edged a pull at Chris Wright to mid-on.
Warwickshire captain Jeetan Patel then took two wickets in his first 13 balls. Luis Reece offered a return catch then Alex Hughes top-edged a sweep and was brilliantly caught by Will Rhodes running back from square leg.
When Henry Brookes hit Godleman's leg-stump, Derbyshire were 84 for 4 and needed some shoring up. Madsen, dropped on 13 and 87, obliged with valuable support from Gary Wilson and Matt Critchley. After Wilson edged Wright to slip, Critchley batted positively until he fell lbw to Patel who soon collected his fourth wicket when Hardus Viljoen nicked behind.
Hamidullah Qadri edged Brooks to second slip but then it was the turn of Duanne Olivier (40, 72 balls) to dig in alongside Madsen. The ninth-wicket pair added 67 in 16 overs before Brooks bowled Madsen and Mark Footitt in five balls. Eighteen-year-old Brooks finished with a career-best 4 for 63 and Patel 4 for 94.
Warwickshire were left with 12 awkward overs batting as the floodlights fought the increasing gloom and lost Dominic Sibley who fell to an exceptional catch by Critchley at fourth slip off Olivier.