Hughes opening works for Derbyshire
UK Guardian article.
YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND - After a predictably difficult start to the season, Derbyshire enjoyed comfortably their most encouraging day back in Division One after a 12-year absence thanks mainly to a genuinely memorable innings from Chesney Hughes.
The tall and muscular Anguillan, whose qualification for England on residential grounds was confirmed this month, was recalled and promoted to open after a hat-trick of failures in the lower middle order cost him his place for Derbyshire's last game against Nottinghamshire, in which they suffered a second consecutive defeat.
He responded by batting all day for an unbeaten 171, a career best that has so far included 25 fours and three sixes – the first hooked off Tim Bresnan over a very long boundary to the Taverners, the other two launched straight into the rugby stand off Adil Rashid.
Bresnan should have had him caught behind for 70 shortly after lunch but Jonny Bairstow, diving to intercept what would have been a regulation catch to first slip, dropped it. Within 10 overs Hughes was reaching three figures with the first of those sixes off Rashid, a fifth century in only his 30th first-class appearance.
"He hits the ball as hard as anyone on the circuit," said Yorkshire's captain, Andrew Gale, whose decision to insert Derbyshire on yet another cold, grey morning did not pay off. "But I haven't seen him play with that discipline before."
Karl Krikken, Derbyshire's head coach, shared the credit for that between the county's batting specialist Dave Houghton, and also Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the West Indies veteran who has taken Hughes under his wing. "In his first full season with us  Ches scored a lot of runs and was disciplined, but since then he's become more of a one-day player and almost got bored of his batting," said Krikken.
"David Houghton has done a magnificent job in trying to instill some discipline, but also the influence of Shiv as another West Indies lad has been huge – he's tried to get him to be relentless and make sure he doesn't throw it away. To be honest Ches would rather bat at four, five or six himself, but he got some runs for the second team as an opener last week, so we thought we'd give it a go."
Yorkshire's seam attack badly missed the left-arm variety provided by Ryan Sidebottom, who was given a rest here with a view to the long season ahead, especially given the uncertainty over Bresnan's future England commitments. Bresnan angled one across the left-handed Billy Godleman for Joe Root to take a sharp catch at third slip, but was frustrated thereafter.
For most of the day Steven Patterson outperformed Yorkshire's winter recruits Jack Brooks and Liam Plunkett and denied Derbyshire's captain, Wayne Madsen, a century he would have deserved for playing a low-profile supporting role in a stand of 258 inside 69 overs, a single short of the all-time second-wicket record for any county match at Headingley.
Chanderpaul fell tamely to the toiling Rashid and Plunkett dismissed Wes Durston in a lively spell with the second new ball, but Hughes will resume on Tuesday with a maiden double century in his sights.