Tom Wood hopes century can help kickstart Derbyshire
Derbyshire have had little to celebrate so far this summer but Tom Wood's record-breaking century could prove the catalyst for both player and county going into the last two months of the season.
Wood's remarkable 59-ball 109 against Nottinghamshire on Wednesday was the fastest for Derbyshire in List A cricket and the second fastest in all formats for the club.
But the innings could prove even more significant for a player who is looking to secure a new contract deal and a team who has struggled to win games this year.
Derbyshire will now face Yorkshire at Chesterfield on Sunday (August 8) with a spring in their step after recording a first win in the Royal London Cup.
Wood himself recognises the potential impact his demolition of an attack containing Luke Fletcher, Dane Paterson and Brett Hutton could have on his and Derbyshire's prospects.
Before Wednesday, Derbyshire had taken only one point for a wash-out from five games although Wood believes there were encouraging signs in the defeat at Northampton last Sunday.
"We are a close bunch of players, we are inexperienced and are learning on the job day by day," the 27-year-old said.
"We are just trying to get better each game but I think the unity and togetherness in the team was on show at Northampton when, after a tough start, we scrapped and fought all the way to the end to make a game of it.
"We took a lot of positives from that and took them into the game against Notts. If we stick together, play aggressively and be positive I think we showed exactly what we are capable of.
"We're not scared of anyone, we know if we go out and play our best cricket we are capable of beating anyone as we showed against Notts. It's just a matter of being consistent and getting better each game."
Wood is also seeking consistency on a personal level as he looks to make a persuasive case for a fresh contract. "It's about trying to be as consistent as I possibly can. I just want to score as many runs as possible and help us win as many games as possible,” he added.
Wood's century was also an emotional one as he acknowledged the support he has received from his parents John and Dawn.
"I'd like to dedicate this hundred to my mum and dad because it's been a long road to get here," he said. "There have been a lot of ups and downs and without their unwavering support it would be impossible for me to be here now and I know they are the two proudest people in the world."