Matt Critchley delivered another impressive application for all-rounder status when he marked his first county championship match of the season with a century in the Division Two match against Durham at Chesterfield.
The 20-year-old, who became Derbyshire’s youngest centurion when he scored an unbeaten 137 against Northants at Derby two years ago, made 102 from 148 balls out of 332 for 9.
Wayne Madsen made 54, his highest score against Durham, and skipper Billy Godleman was not out 79 while 18-year-old seamer Matthew Potts took three wickets in his third first-class appearance.
Durham’s day might have been different if they had bowled more consistently and had caught Madsen on one when he edged Chris Rushworth to third slip in the ninth over.
Rushworth had already trapped Luis Reece lbw with one that kept low and Madsen’s wicket would have given them a chance of exposing a batting order weakened by the absence of Shiv Thakor and Gary Wilson with minor injuries.
Madsen, who needed lengthy treatment after he was struck on the left elbow by Paul Coughlin, batted for another 34 overs to establish a platform which Critchley and Godleman exploited with a fifth wicket stand of 99.
Critchley’s timing and placement was impressive although Durham were guilty of giving him too much width as 18 fours in his hundred suggest. A frustrating day for the visitors was compounded when the umpires reprieved Godleman on 10 after Graham Clark claimed a low catch at gully off Rushworth.
Godleman had dropped down to six in the order after feeling unwell and was in danger of being stranded short of his half century when four wickets fell for only 25 runs after tea following Critchley’s exit when he played across a ball from Potts.
But the former Middlesex seamer Gurjit Sandhu emerged from an uncertain start to play soundly on his Derbyshire debut to help Godleman steer his side to a third batting point and easily passed his previous highest first-class score of eight in an unbroken last wicket stand of 66 to make it the hosts’ day.