Hughes stands firm after Finn fires
Derbyshire 190 for 9 v Middlesex v
Teenager Chesney Hughes scored a gutsy 41 on his first-class debut to save Derbyshire from total collapse against Middlesex in their County Championship Second Division match at Lord's. England quick Steven Finn led an impressive Middlesex attack as they reduced the visitors to 190 for 9 when bad light forced an end to the day with 82.5 overs bowled.
Hughes, a 19-year-old allrounder from Anguilla, came in at No. 7 and immediately saw his team lose their sixth wicket at the same score of 105 to be in deep trouble. But after eight overs on 0 he began to dig Derbyshire out of trouble with some powerful cover drives.
First with Lee Goddard, and then in a 51-run eighth wicket stand with Tom Lungley, he ensured Derbyshire some sort of respectability at the end of an opening day which began at 12 noon due to the visiting team's overnight travel from Leeds - where they had played a Clydesdale Bank 40 fixture the previous day - and ended early due to bad light.
Finn struck the first and most telling blow of the day when he had Chris Rogers, the Derbyshire captain and prolific Australian, caught at first slip by Andrew Strauss with a magnificent delivery that bounced and left the left-hander.
Wayne Madsen and Paul Borrington did well to negotiate the remainder of Finn and Tim Murtagh's new-ball spells and, at 64 for 1, it looked as if Derbyshire - having won the toss and decided to bat - had weathered the worst and sailed into more serene waters.
But then Murtagh and Finn returned for their second spells, and Madsen was beaten by a ball angled in from wider on the crease and lbw for 29. Garry Park was almost immediately adjudged lbw to a similar delivery from Murtagh, and Derbyshire's collapse continued apace when Finn won an lbw decision against Greg Smith even though it seemed a little high.
John Sadler was the next to go, flashing irresponsibly at a widish ball from medium pacer Gareth Berg, and when Borrington's gritty 46 was ended by an unlucky leg-glance to wicketkeeper John Simpson it was left to Hughes and the tail to pick up the pieces as best they could.
Hughes is only the third Anguillan to play county cricket behind Omari Banks and former Hampshire favourite Cardigan Connor, who recommended the teen to Derbyshire head of cricket John Morris last summer when the teenager was playing for Fleetwood in the North Lancashire League.
He repaid some of that faith with an 88-ball innings that included seven fours before thick-edging an attempted square cut and being superbly held above his head by Strauss at first slip. Finn, armed with the second new ball, then removed Tim Groenewald just before the premature close, to give himself figures of 3 for 45 from 19 classy overs.
Lungley hung on with 19 not out to leave Derbyshire hoping for at least one batting bonus point.