Madsen century too little too late
Yorkshire 617 for 5 dec. (Lees 275*, Jaques 139) beat Derbyshire 235 (Poynton 63*) and 269 (Madsen 141, Sidebottom 3-27, Patterson 3-63) by an innings and 113 runs
This match will be most remembered for the extraordinary performance of Alex Lees, the 20-year-old opening batsman who is exciting Yorkshire as much as Joe Root did a couple of years ago. Yet what should not be underplayed is the herculean efforts of their bowlers, not all of them in the first flush of youth, to take 15 wickets in a day of 30-degree heat, which is why they were able to leave Queen's Park with their lead in the Championship restored and a day off ahead to recover from their labours.
Ryan Sidebottom, Liam Plunkett, Jack Brooks and Steve Patterson - a seam attack with an average of 30 - sent down 77.2 overs between them. Yet they were collectively so focussed on completing the job that the extra half-hour that loomed ominously as Derbyshire, following on, lost their seventh second-innings wicket with 40 minutes or so of scheduled time left would simply have been the cue to carry on running in.
In the event, three wickets in the space of six deliveries in the 93rd and 94th overs of the day made it unnecessary. Sidebottom and Plunkett, 35 and 28 respectively, matched each other for primal roars as they shared the last pickings and Yorkshire were able to line up the celebration beers.
The 24 points Yorkshire take from this week lifts them back above Sussex to the top of Division One and on the evidence so far there does not look a stronger candidate for the title, although Warwickshire's improved form carries a degree of threat. The two meet at Headingley at the beginning of next month, following another break in the fixture list. It may be argued that Derbyshire, who have found the step up to Division One a little too much, are not much of an opponent, but they were not, in the end, a complete pushover.
Other than Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who has missed this match with a hamstring injury, only Wayne Madsen, their 29-year-old South African captain, has looked consistently as if he should be facing Division One attacks and it came as no surprise that it was he who should stand head and shoulders above his woebegone crew to keep Yorkshire waiting.
Wickets fell around him relentlessly as Derbyshire, their first innings ended on the stroke of lunch with a deficit of 382, offered a succession of poor shots and errant judgements, but Madsen batted superbly, giving a masterclass in how not to protect your wicket against the better balls while at the same time demonstrating that, with a good technique, self-belief and decisive shot selection, it is possible for even Derbyshire batsmen to score big runs. After four and a quarter hours he had made 141 and that his innings - and the match - should end with a weak return catch patted back to Plunkett did not do him justice.
He would have been applauded off by the umpires, if etiquette had allowed it. They had noted Madsen's honesty on Thursday evening, when he had walked during Derbyshire's first innings, after Andrew Hodd, the Yorkshire wicketkeeper, claimed a catch off Steve Patterson's bowling. Jeff Evans was unsure he could give it from the bowler's end but Madsen signalled he had gloved it and headed for the pavilion. He had made only 17.
Had he been of a different inclination, Derbyshire might not have been all out for 235, in which only Richard Johnson's gritty 46 and a bold unbeaten 63 by Tom Poynton provided any substance. In the second innings, after Madsen, Poynton's 29 was Derbyshire's best score.
An injury to Phil Jaques, who suffered a torn muscle in the field and will be out for four to five weeks, took a little shine off Yorkshire's performance, although given the sadness in the background following the sudden death last weekend of Neil Gillespie, the father of their coach, an injury setback must have seemed like a minor matter.
Gillespie, who missed the first two days, fulfilled his duties yesterday and was able to enjoy the victory. He is to return to Australia for the funeral in the next few days. Neil Gillespie, who had travelled to England last week with Jason's mother, Vicki, suffered a heart attack in Leeds last weekend.