Gloucestershire fought back well on day two of their County Championship match against Derbyshire at the County Ground in Bristol.
After losing the toss on day one, and watching Derbyshire bat all day for the loss of just three wickets, the home side came back on the second day and dismissed their visitors for 444 before ending the day on 110-1 to move the game into an interesting position ahead of day three.
Hosts make early inroads after day one struggles
With Derbyshire resuming on 242/3 following the first day's play, the home side made early inroads in gloomy conditions, which started with Liam Norwell dismissing Neil Broom with the 9th ball of the morning. The former New Zealand international edged a ball outside off-stump to Kieran Noema-Barnett who took a smart catch low down at first slip to see Broom on his way for 32. That wicket bought to an end the partnership of 66 between Broom and Wayne Madsen, without a run being added to the overnight score.
After Madsen and Wes Durston had added 16 for the 5th wicket, David Payne produced an excellent in-swinging yorker to dismiss Durston who was beaten all-ends-up. The left-arm seamer's delivery swung late into Durston who could get nothing in the way, as the ball clattered into middle-and-leg stump to bring his innings to an end for just 12.
In the following over, Gloucestershire missed a golden chance to wrap up their second bowling point, when the new man at the crease, Shiv Thakor, played at a ball he shouldn't have on zero which he edged behind, only for Noema-Barnett and Chris Dent to stare at one another as the ball flew between the two of them at catching height in the slip cordon.
Then, just six balls later they had their man, when Thakor edged behind once more off the bowling of Payne, and this time Dent took the catch to dismiss the batsman for seven, leaving Derbyshire 266/6 and giving Gloucestershire their third wicket in eight overs. At the end of the 110th over, the opportunity to gain bonus-points had come to an end, with Derby and Gloucester each gaining two points.
Madsen and Poynton share century partnership as Derby build towards 400
After a slow period of play where bat and ball were struggling to get on top, Derbyshire finally passed 300 after 118 overs had been bowled in the innings. The 300 was bought up with a flowing cover drive by Madsen, who moved into and through the 70's, where he was accompanied by Tom Poynton who struggled early in his innings before finding the middle of his bat on more occasions.
Following the three early wickets to open the morning session, the pace of day one reared its head again, with both the batsmen and bowlers struggling to get on top of the opposition. The partnership of Madsen and Poynton passed 50 in the final over before the break, with Derbyshire having added 77 runs in the morning session which saw them leave the field for lunch at 319-6.
Enjoying the best weather of the day in Bristol, the Derbyshire batsmen made hay in the opening overs after the lunch break, against the spearheads of the Gloucestershire attack in Payne and Norwell. Poynton looked to play his shots through the off-side, likewise to Madsen who also executed a couple of beautiful straight drives.
After racing through the 80's and 90's, Madsen's passage from 99 to his 19th First-Class century for Derbyshire seemed to take an age, as Gloucestershire's bowlers began to bowl a tighter-line. He eventually got to three-figures after driving a ball from Noema-Barnett to mid-off, before racing through for the single, bringing up the ton off of 276 balls, having struck 14 fours. The 100 was his third against Gloucestershire in the County Championship, the first of which came on his debut for the county back in 2009 at Cheltenham.
Once Madsen reached his century, Derby really looked to press home their advantage against the first-change bowlers of Gloucestershire. The batsmen started to take plenty more risks, going after the short-bowling and running with a lot more authority between the wickets, as the partnership raced past 100.
As the milestones kept rolling in, Poynton reached his 50 off 127 deliveries, before becoming Norwell's fourth victim of the innings when he flashed at a wide ball, where he was caught by Noema-Barnett at first-slip for a well-made 53. Soon after the seventh wicket, Derbyshire took their total 400 when Nottinghamshire-loanee Luke Fletcher smashed Jack Taylor down the ground for a single.
Taylor grabs career-best after dismissing free-hitting Derby tail
Fletcher was soon on his way back to the pavilion though for 11, after finding Josh Shaw on the mid-wicket boundary to give Taylor his second wicket of the innings. Ben Cotton also made 11 before being caught by Cameron Bancroft off of Taylor having skied the ball straight up in the air as Derbyshire looked to accelerate the run-rate.
Fortunately for Madsen, he had just enough partners to reach his 150, before he was dismissed the next ball by Taylor, giving the off-spinner career-best bowling figures of 4-61. Derbyshire's final total of 444 all out came from 157.1 overs, and with the final wicket, players took tea ahead of the final session of the day.
Dent and Bancroft see off new ball, sharing opening century stand as Gloucester launch fightback
Gloucestershire's openers Bancroft & Dent went about blunting the new-ball well in the opening overs considering the gloomy overhead conditions. The pair didn't offer any chances to the Derbyshire bowlers in the first hour after tea, with Bancroft looking the more assured of the pair, finding the boundary on a couple of occasions with some sweetly-timed shots.
After the pair had taken their partnership past 100, Bancroft was dismissed for 41, after being bowled by Thakor late in the day. Dent remained unbeaten on 61, and took Gloucestershire to the close with the score on 110-1 alongside night-watchman Norwell who will start tomorrow morning on two.