Madsen's rush of blood does not prove costly as Yorkshire are forced to settle for a draw

WHAT was Wayne Madsen thinking?
Yorkshire pace bowler Matty Fisher. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comYorkshire pace bowler Matty Fisher. Picture by Allan McKenzie/
Yorkshire pace bowler Matty Fisher. Picture by Allan McKenzie/

The veteran Derbyshire batsman, having batted brilliantly and bravely with a damaged right hand, had just reached a century, his second against Yorkshire in first-class cricket, to go with (curiously) three innings of 93 and a score of 52.

Joe Root, bowling from The Howard Stand end, tossed up an off-break outside the off stump and Madsen slog-swept and top-edged the ball high into the air, Harry Brook judging the catch at mid-wicket.

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Madsen held his post-shot position close to the ground, put his left hand on his head in dismay, quietly and half-heartedly rehearsed the stroke and then slowly sloped off back to the pavilion, no doubt mumbling a few choice words.

Joe Root bowls against Derbyshire. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comJoe Root bowls against Derbyshire. Picture by Allan McKenzie/
Joe Root bowls against Derbyshire. Picture by Allan McKenzie/

After almost five hours of batting and 226 balls faced, having had stitches in his injured hand after dropping a slip catch on the first morning, the 40-year-old had made a gift of his wicket and given Yorkshire a lifeline, leaving Derbyshire’s score at 237-5 – still 64 short of avoiding the follow-on – with a second new ball just around the corner.

It had the air of a pivotal moment, coming 55 minutes into the final day, as Yorkshire sought to shake off the twin blows of losing the third day to rain and a fine partnership between Madsen and Brooke Guest, which had lifted Derbyshire from 23-3 to 193-4 in reply to the hosts’ 450-5 declared.

Guest had fallen to the 12th ball of day four, bowled by the excellent Matty Fisher to end an innings of 75, and now Madsen’s wicket had further increased Yorkshire’s hopes of enforcing that follow-on, their only prospect of achieving success after Derbyshire declined to set up a game.

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However, try as they did, Yorkshire managed only two more wickets before the deficit was cleared, Derbyshire going on to a final total of 447 before Yorkshire reached 59-1 and hands were shaken.

Not a final day, then, that will linger in the memory - as so few days have in this weather-ruined April. Derbyshire began it on 190-3, needing another 111 to avoid the follow-on, and the players were greeted by streaks of watery sunshine and gusts strong enough to threaten the club flags beside the pavilion.

Madsen had 88 and Guest 74 when the action resumed, but Fisher was straight into his stride at the Kirkstall Lane end to curtail their stand at 170 in 53 overs.

Fisher should have had another scalp in the second over with the second new ball, but Fin Bean dropped a chance at third slip when Aneurin Donald, on 35, edged low to his left.

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That would have left Derbyshire 246-6, still 55 short of safety, and might have put a different complexion on events.

As it was, there would still have been much for Yorkshire to do, and Bean has been brilliant in that position, quite frankly, often taking catches he has no right to take.

In a final attempt to make things happen, Yorkshire turned to “the man who makes things happen” - aka Jordan Thompson.

He did his best to live up to the nickname with two wickets just before the follow-on was avoided, trapping Anuj Dal in front and having Alex Thomson caught by Bean at mid-wicket, which left Derbyshire 297-7.

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Thereafter, Donald and Zak Chappell combined in an entertaining partnership of 109 inside 15 overs as the sides chased bonus points before the 110-over cut-off.

Donald stroked some handsome boundaries through the offside, although one or two were perhaps a little edgy, and Chappell played positively, hoisting Thompson for a straight six and sweeping Root for another maximum that raised his fifty from 48 balls.

After Chappell then hit Root for two successive sixes, one over mid-wicket, the other over backward square, the second of which raised Derbyshire’s 400 and earned them a fourth batting point, Donald fell three short of a hundred when he played back to Root and was smartly caught behind by Jonny Tattersall.

When Fisher had Chappell caught in the gully by Bean as he tried to pull, the No 9 thrashing 78 from 61 balls with eight fours and four sixes, Yorkshire had their third and final bowling point with an over to spare.

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Root rounded things off by trapping Pat Brown in front as the hosts secured a first innings lead of three runs.

There are few things more pointless than a Championship match petering out when all first innings points have been determined and there is no hope whatsoever of a positive result, although Derbyshire had a negative over-rate to rectify.

Theoretically, Yorkshire had 43 overs to negotiate but only 21 were bowled as bad light forced a slightly premature conclusion.

For the record, Bean scored 33 before falling lbw trying to pull David Lloyd just five balls before the end, with Adam Lyth unbeaten on 20.

Onwards and upwards, as the saying goes, with Yorkshire back in action at Headingley against Glamorgan on Friday.

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