Yorkshire have been so far in front of Derbyshire for most of this match that wrapping up victory before the end of day three – and in doing so reclaiming the lead in the Championship – always looked a possibility, even though it required their bowlers to run in all day in strength-sapping heat.
Derbyshire, after the joy of winning promotion last summer, have found the gap between the Second and First Divisions of the Championship to be a step too far. Without the steadying influence of Shivnarine Chanderpaul to hold the line in the middle of an innings, their lack of experience and polished quality was painfully exposed and they were beaten by an innings and 113 runs, Yorkshire claiming 24 points to their one.
The end came in the final three overs of the day’s scheduled 96, after Ryan Sidebottom took the eighth and ninth wickets in the space of four deliveries.
Other than Chanderpaul, who has missed this match with a hamstring injury, only Wayne Madsen, their 29-year-old South African captain, has looked unequivocally at home facing First Division bowling and it came as no surprise that it was he who should stand head and shoulders above a dishevelled and disheartened crew to keep Yorkshire waiting. Madsen batted superbly, giving his team-mates the benefit of a masterclass in how not to throw your wicket away while demonstrating simultaneously that, with a good technique, self-belief and decisive shot selection, scoring big runs need not be the preserve of the opposition. By the end of it, he had made 141 from 195 balls, and that his innings, and the match, should end with a somewhat tame return catch to Liam Plunkett did not do it justice.
The applause it brought might have seen Jeff Evans, the umpire, joining in had convention allowed. Evans had made it known on Thursday how impressed he was that Madsen had walked during Derbyshire’s first innings when Andrew Hodd, the Yorkshire wicketkeeper, claimed a catch off Steve Patterson’s bowling that he was unsure about. Madsen, though, immediately acknowledged the ball had touched his glove and headed for the pavilion. He had made only 17. Had he been less honest, Derbyshire might not have been 94 for five overnight and might not have been all out for 235, conceding a lead of 382. Only a breezy first-innings 63 not out by Tom Poynton, who hit eight fours and three sixes, kept Derbyshire going that long. Following on, Derbyshire’s best score, after Madsen, was Poynton’s 29.
Yorkshire jump ahead of Sussex, who are facing defeat against Middlesex at Hove. The only downside for Yorkshire is a torn muscle for Phil Jaques, who will be out for four to five weeks.