Madsen's solo effort bolsters Derbyshire
Derbyshire 320 for 8 (Madsen 164*, Shreck 3-68) v Surrey
Wayne Madsen has played many more fluent and attractive innings in his long and illustrious career, but the South African cannot have made a more hard-fought or more valuable century than that which he scored for Derbyshire on the first day of their Championship match against Leicestershire at Grace Road.
Madsen finished unbeaten on 164 as Derbyshire closed on 320 for 8, a score which looked well beyond them after they lost their first three wickets for just 38. In bowler-friendly conditions and on a green-tinged pitch Leicestershire captain Mark Cosgrove put the visitors in after winning the toss, and his seamers found movement through the air and off the pitch.
Ben Raine made the early breakthrough for Leicestershire, swinging the ball in to left-hander Billy Godleman to win a leg before decision, and Ben Slater followed soon afterwards, leaving Charlie Shreck's first delivery and losing his off-stump.
It was Shreck's 50th wicket in the Championship this season, and he should have had a 51st in the same over, when Madsen, on 11 at the time, edged high to third slip, only for Rob Sayer to put down the chance.
The 37-year-old Shreck did pick up a second wicket when Tillikeratne Dillshan edged another out-swinger to Angus Robson at first slip. Madsen and Alex Hughes fought their way through to lunch, but after the break Derbyshire lost Alex Hughes, caught behind fending at Clint McKay, and Wes Durston, who edged an attempted drive at Shreck, to leave Derbyshire teetering on 118 for 5.
Madsen enjoyed a huge stroke of fortune when on 54 he cut a delivery from Cosgrove to gully, where Ned Eckersley took the catch above his head - only for umpire Paul Baldwin to signal no-ball after seeing Cosgrove had knocked off a bail in his delivery stride.
Madsen and Shiv Thakor then compiled a partnership of 71 for the sixth wicket before Thakor - a former Leicestershire player - attempted to turn offspinner Rob Sayer down the leg side, and was given out leg before to give Sayer, making his Championship debut for Leicestershire, his first first-class wicket.
Harvey Hosein leant his captain valuable support as Madsen went to his 100, off 203 balls, and though Hosein was then brilliantly caught by Andrea Agathangelou diving to his right at second slip, Tony Palladino and then Mark Footitt hung around as Madsen went through to his 150, and took Derbyshire through to a third batting bonus point.