Hughes makes timely return to form
Derbyshire 375 for 7 v Surrey
Chesney Hughes ended a lean run with his first century of the season to lead an impressive Derbyshire fightback on the opening day of their County Championship match against Surrey at Derby.
Hughes made 124 and was well supported by Wes Durston (47) and Dan Redfern (55), to foil Surrey after Tim Linley had struck twice in the first four overs. Linley cut short New Zealand Test opener Martin Guptill's debut innings and Surrey's decision to put Derbyshire in looked a good one at 16 for 2, but Hughes survived a torrid start to put the home side in a good position on 375 for 7 at the close.
The Anguillan came into the match with an average of 24 and had to ride his luck during a morning session when Surrey could have taken at least two more wickets. Overcast conditions and some early life in the pitch made batting demanding as the Surrey seamers repeatedly beat the bat and had a number of convincing lbw appeals rejected.
Linley removed South African opener Wayne Madsen for one in the second over with a ball that moved sharply to fly to gully where Mark Ramprakash made no mistake. Jade Dernbach had taken nine wickets for England Lions against the Sri Lankans at Derby last week but when he greeted Guptill with a short ball, the Kiwi hooked it over the square leg boundary for six.
But his stay was a brief one as Linley plunged forward in the next over to take a return catch after Derbyshire's new overseas recruit aimed a drive at a ball that seemed to stop on him. Hughes and Durston then had their work cut out to survive but they also played some confident strokes when the bowlers strayed in direction.
After Hughes had brought up the 100 by cover driving Gareth Batty for four, the third-wicket pair were minutes away from lunch when Durston was lbw playing back to a ball from Linley that kept low. But the afternoon belonged to Hughes and Redfern who batted through the session, adding 130 runs with Hughes reaching his century, which included 12 fours and a five after a Jason Roy throw missed the stumps, from 179 balls.
Hughes launched Batty for six after tea but the spinner broke a stand that had added 144 in 39 overs when Redfern played across the line and there was more success for Surrey in the last hour.
Tom Jewell celebrated his second Championship victim when Hughes top-edged a pull at the 20-year-old seamer, and Linley cut short Greg Smith's aggressive run to 34 when he edged to first slip.
Dernbach had Jon Clare caught behind but Luke Sutton (39 not out) and Steffan Jones (25no) put the gloss on a good day for Derbyshire by banking a fourth batting point in the evening sunshine.