On a cold, cloudy morning in Derby it looked as though it was a day set up for the bowlers. The traditional “good toss to win” line rippled through the crowd and surely Derbyshire were delighted when the coin fell their way. There’s more to a game than just the result of the toss, as the hosts were soon reminded. After a small tumble of wickets to start the innings off, it was Lancashire who took the upper hand on Day One.
Mark Footitt must’ve worn a great smile when the toss went his captain’s way and Wayne Madsen made the call for a bowl. He and Tony Palladino set to work intimidating the Lancashire openers, reducing the visitors to 7/2 by the end of the eighth over.
A third wicket stand for the South Africans, Alviro Petersen and Ashwell Prince, threatened to dominate the day but was cut short when Shiv Thakor took his first wicket for his new side, clean bowling Prince for 21. A second wicket for Palladino, to remove Steven Croft for just one, put Lancashire four wickets down for just 55 runs and well on the back foot.
Lancashire had some serious rebuilding to do and, fortunately, a top class batter and a hungry new captain to do it. Tom Smith joined Petersen in the middle and the two men set about upsetting their hosts’ plans.
Petersen should’ve been out in the 50th over, but was dropped by Tom Taylor on 90. Instead, he and his captain celebrated their partnership reaching three figures. The South African’s own three figures came just two overs later and when they were finally parted, with Alex Hughes bowling Smith for 38, the pairing was worth 135 runs.
Coming just two overs before tea, Smith’s wicket was the only one in an afternoon session that saw 131 runs accumulated.
Petersen’s time was finally up early in the evening session, when he was caught by Martin Guptill at square leg for 115. A huge breakthrough for the hosts, it was cause for double celebration as Footitt’s 200th first class wicket was brought up in the process.
A short interval for bad light saw no overs lost and Lancashire, still six wickets down, came back out to continue into the dwindling day. The tireless Footitt and his bowling attack continued to plug away, while Peter Siddle and Alex Davies quietly went about adding the runs to the Lancashire cause.
A couple of late wickets fell, as Siddle (46) became Palladino’s third of the innings and Davies (40) became Thakor’s third, but it made little difference. When the day was done, Lancashire had amassed 292 runs for their eight wickets and were well and truly in control.