Rogers flays Kent to boost promotion hopes
Derbyshire 186 for 0 (Rogers 116*, Madsen 65*) trail Kent 281 (G Jones 108, Blake 44, S Jones 5-35) by 95 runs
Derbyshire's Australian left-hander Chris Rogers hit a sublime, unbeaten 116 and featured in an unbroken opening stand with partner Wayne Madsen that allowed the promotion-chasing hosts to take a second day grip on their game with Division Two leaders Kent.
Having mopped up Kent's last five wickets for only 49 in a first session delayed by overnight rain, Derbyshire set about posting their first century opening stand of the season and at stumps were sitting pretty on 186 without loss in pursuit of Kent's first innings of 281.
Sydney-born Rodgers took full toll of some woeful Kent seam bowling in tricky, blustery conditions to crack 13 fours on his way to a 130-ball hundred and duly celebrated reaching the milestone by upper-cutting a wide bouncer from Amjad Khan for six over third man and onto the remnants of the old Grandstand terracing.
Indeed Rogers, the Victorian who has played one Test for his country, made Khan - a one-cap wonder for England after his sole winter appearance in the Trinidad Test - look mundane as he and Madsen coped admirably with a barrage of wayward bouncers. The bumper war was possibly the only way Khan, and his clearly frustrated skipper Rob Key, could see of restricting the Derbyshire run- rate. Either way, the ploy failed as the home openers added a chanceless 156 in the 38 overs in easing conditions after tea as Kent's weakened attack were put to the sword.
Madsen, a pugnacious 25-year-old South African, played the ideal foil in reaching an untroubled 65 in a shade over three hours as Kent plied five bowlers in a failed bid to break the stand. Khan conceded 51 from his 12 errant overs, while rookie right-arm seamer Phil Edwards proved even more costly in leaking 40 from five overs after serving up a series of half-volleys as Derbyshire reduced their first innings deficit to 95 by stumps.
At the start of the second day heavy overnight rain left the Old Racecourse Ground outfield sodden and left umpires Trevor Jesty and Vanburn Holder with little option but to call for an early lunch just before noon and make a delayed start just after 12.30pm. Having sweated under the covers for a few hours the pitch played a few early tricks and Derbyshire's steamers took full advantage by clearing up Kent's last five wickets inside 20 overs.
First day century-maker Geraint Jones lasted only six balls and added just a single to his overnight 107 before splicing a spiteful lifter from Tom Lumley to slip to spark a collapse that saw Kent dismissed by 2pm. Second top-scorer Alex Blake danced down the pitch to Graham Wagg's spinners to stroke a delightful six over long-off on his way to an eye-catching 44 before he sliced a firm drive to backward point where Garry Park tumbled to his right to pull off a stunning catch.
Simon Cook (2) clipped a comfortable return catch to Wagg, Khan (0) flicked across a straight one from Tim Groenewald to go leg before and last man Edwards gloved a bouncer to the keeper to give Steffan Jones deserved figures of five for 35.
James Tredwell was left high and dry on 22 having batted for 70 minutes in a quest to secure Kent a third batting bonus point, as it was they finished 19 short as Derbyshire took control of this top-of- the-table clash.