Madsen battles to keep Derbyshire afloat

Derbyshire 199 for 6 (Madsen 76) trail Leicestershire 380 (Eckersley 117*, Parkinson 4-90) by 181 runs

Many county bowling attacks have suffered at the hands of Wayne Madsen over the years, but none more so than Leicestershire's since the likeable South African made his first appearance in the County Championship back in 2009.

Madsen was at it again on the second day of this Division Two match. His innings of 76 not only held the Derbyshire first innings together, just about, it saw him pass both 9,000 career first-class runs and 1,000 against Leicestershire. The only surprise, as far as Leicestershire supporters were concerned, was seeing Madsen attempt to pull a Charlie Shreck bouncer and top edge a catch into the leg side.

Leicestershire's first innings 380 was built on a first century of the season for Ned Eckersley. Resuming on 300 for 7, Eckersley and Ben Raine extended their eighth wicket partnership to 58 before the left-handed Raine was tempted into driving at a wide delivery from Alex Hughes, and was well caught off the outside edge by wicket-keeper Alex Mellor, standing up to Hughes' medium-pace.

Richard Jones played over a straight ball from very occasional offspinner Neil Broom, at which point Eckersley was in danger of being stranded on 99 - the more so because Leicestershire No. 11 Charlie Shreck came to the wicket having scored no runs at all in any of his previous seven innings.

Shreck kept out what remained of Broom's over, however, and in the following over Eckersley steered left-armer Callum Parkinson into the off side for the runs he need to go to his century, which came off 223 balls and included nine fours.

Shreck was left not out, again without scoring, when Eckersley, on 117, went down the wicket and tried to loft Callum Parkinson to long-on, but could not clear Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman. The 19-year-old Parkinson, making his first-class debut, finished with 4 for 90 from 33.4 overs.

Derbyshire lost their first three batsmen with just 40 on the board, with all three having their off-stump knocked out of the ground. Godleman had only himself to blame, shouldering arms to a Clint McKay inswinger, but Ben Slater and Chesney Hughes both received superb deliveries that straightened off the seam from Ben Raine.

Madsen has been consistency personified this season however, coming into the match having scored 860 championship runs at an average of over 60, and the right-hander hit eight fours in going to his 50 off 71 balls.

Broom looked less secure, and had already played across the line on a couple of occasions when clipping Shreck's outswingers through the leg side when he got a leading edge attempting the shot again, and was well caught by Raine running back from mid-on for 33.

Madsen may have been fortunate to survive a leg before shout to the following ball, but McKay returned to pick up the wicket of Shiv Thakor, pinning the former Leicestershire allrounder leg before to his third delivery.

The evening session was a different story. Madsen and Alex Hughes battled away, at least until Madsen's rush of blood, and Hughes and Mellor, making his first class debut, saw the visitors to the close without further loss.