Wayne Madsen dug in with an unbeaten 164 to give Derbyshire a fighting chance on the first day of their Championship match against Leicestershire at Grace Road.
His resolute stand took 226 balls, with 25 fours, which enabled as Derbyshire to close on 320-8, a score which looked well beyond them after they lost their first three wickets for just 38. He had his fair share of luck, too, being dropped at third slip when on 11. And then, on on 54 he cut a delivery from Mark Cosgrove to gully, where Ned Eckersley took the catch above his head – only for umpire Paul Baldwin to signal no-ball after seeing Cosgrove had knocked off a bail in his delivery stride.
For that, he can thank former Proteas captain Graeme Smith, who complained when Steve Finn kept kicking the stumps in the Headingley Test of 2012.
Madsen and Shiv Thakor then compiled a partnership of 71 for the sixth wicket as he went to his 19th first-class hundred, off 203 balls.
His surrogate compatriot Dawid Malan (though born in London), scored an excellent 93 to drag Middlesex to a score of 234 against Sussex.
A solid 90-run partnership for the third wicket with Nick Compton took the hosts out of a sticky situation, at 24-2, before Malan survived the cascade of wickets. He really dug in, focusing on timing rather than force for his 93 runs: an array of back-cuts and well-placed drives bringing him 12 fours before he was strangled down the leg-side.
Elsewhere, Gareth Berg produced a lively unbeaten 42 to help Hampshire close on 255-8 against Warwickshire. The Italy-qualified SACS old boy has hit just four fours off 61 balls as he tries to eke out a decent target.
Compiled by Mark Salter