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Recent Match Report – Gloucestershire vs Derbyshire, County Championship Division Two, 2nd Innings



Derbyshire 291 (Lace 83) and 388 for 3 dec (Madsen 204*, Hughes 109*, Lace 57) drew with Gloucestershire 350 (Roderick 98, Higgins 74)

Wayne Madsen finished unbeaten on 204 as Derbyshire comfortably batted for a draw on a low key final day of the County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Bristol.

It was the 35-year-old South African’s 30th first class century and the second time he had gone past 200 for his county. He shared an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 278 with Alex Hughes, who contributed 109 not out to the visitors’ second-innings total of 388 for 3 declared, which gave them a lead of 329 when the players shook hands at 4.50pm.

Tom Lace made his second half-century of the match before falling to Benny Howell for 57 with the score on 110, but there was never any threat of Gloucestershire’s bowlers taking the necessary number of quick wickets to force a victory.

During the course of his innings, Madsen went past 15,000 runs in all competitions for Derbyshire, only the ninth player to do so and the first since John Morris in 1991. On 93, he reached 10,000 first class runs for the club he has served with such distinction since 2009.

Gloucestershire took 11 points, while Derbyshire went top of Division Two with nine from a match played on a slow pitch that rewarded patient batting and offered precious little for the bowlers on the last two days.

Resuming their second innings on 97 for 2, the visitors had added only 13 when Lace, who began the day on 48, was brilliantly caught by the diving Chris Dent at wide second slip off Howell.

The young batsman on loan for the season from Middlesex had reached fifty off 112 balls, with six fours. At 110 for 3, the Derbyshire lead was only 51, but Madsen and Hughes calmed any nerves, adding 76 before lunch.

Madsen, who had started the morning on 41, was 82 not out at the interval and cashed in on some generous bowling at the start of the afternoon session as Gloucestershire, eager to boost a slow over-rate, put on spinners Graeme van Buuren and Miles Hammond.

The latter went for 13 in an over as Madsen hit three fours and a single to close in on his hundred, which was completed two overs later, off 219 balls and including eight fours, with a nudge into the leg-side off Hammond.

Gloucestershire took the second new ball with the total 213 for 3 and with Derbyshire leading by 154. But it made little impact as Hughes moved to his half-century off 113 balls.

By tea, Derbyshire had moved to 325 for 3, a lead of 266, with Madsen on 160 and Hughes 91, neither of them having looked in the slightest trouble.

Hughes reached his sixth first class hundred with a boundary to square leg off Hammond, having faced 211 deliveries and hit 10 fours and a pulled six off Harry Hankins.

It only remained for Madsen to bring up his 200, which he did with a single courtesy of a misfield off van Buuren. He removed his helmet and raised both arms, having batted for more than seven hours, facing 343 balls and hitting 21 fours.

Sadly, the ground was almost empty as the chill wind had sent even the hardiest spectators home long before.

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Former India opener Madhav Apte dies at 86



Madhav Apte, the former India Test opener, died in Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital on Monday, aged 86.

In his seven Tests for India in 1952-53, Apte averaged 49.27, the highlight being a match-saving, unbeaten 163 against West Indies in Port of Spain. Five of his seven Tests were played on that tour of the Caribbean, where it seemed he was the next big thing in Indian cricket, averaging over 50 and finishing second on the runs charts for India.

Shishir Hattangadi, the prolific Mumbai run-getter from the 1980s, confirmed the news of Apte’s death and paid tribute to him. “I hadn’t met him for a couple of months, he hadn’t been keeping well,” Hattangadi told ESPNcricinfo. “Age-related complications. I was told that he suffered a cardiac arrest this morning. The memories are of a lovely human being, he embraced sports romantics, a lovely man to spend time with.

“He would tell you stories of people and events you have only heard of. Never spoke about his own career. Very dignified, he didn’t want to talk about it. He was a senior that you respected, someone you could spend a lot of time with. A very simple man. A great loss, but he lived his life well.”

In all, Apte’s first-class career ran 17 years, from 1951-52 to 1967-68. He scored a first-class ton on debut for Mumbai in 1952, and promptly went on to make his Test debut as a 20-year-old during Pakistan’s tour of India later that year. Next up was the tour of the Caribbean.

ALSO READ: In conversation with Madhav Apte

Against a West Indies attack that included Sonny Ramadhin, Alf Valentine and Frank King, Apte struck 64 and 52 in the first Test, 64 again in the second, and followed that up with that unbeaten second-innings 163 in the third Test to secure a draw for India. Despite his tour average of 51.11, Apte never played another Test.

Following the tour of the West Indies, India had no Tests scheduled in 1954. He was part of the “Silver Jubilee Commonwealth XI” match in 1954, playing for India against West Indies, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the BCCI. But his form was on the downslide by the time India’s next Test assignment came about, and so he was overlooked.

He had begun his career as a legbreak bowler before intervention from the great Vinoo Mankad – his coach at college – turned him into an opening batsman. Apte later confessed that he learnt the art of batting by observing Vijay Merchant bat in the nets every morning in Mumbai. It was Merchant’s subsequent injury in 1952 that handed Apte a first-class debut for Mumbai.

After his first-class retirement, Apte moved to Malaysia on work but continued to turn out in the Kanga League in Mumbai, representing the club side Jolly Cricketers. He played over 50 seasons of the Kanga League, last featuring in a game at the age of 70. Between 1948 and 2002, Apte made more than 5000 runs in that league.

In 1989, Apte became the president of Cricket Club of India in Mumbai, one of the oldest clubs for the sport in the country. He was also instrumental in bringing a 14-year-old Sachin Tendulkar into the CCI side. Recalling what he thought of Tendulkar’s talent back then, Apte once said: “One sees a hell of a lot of talent at the age of 14, 16, and so on. Not all of that talent really matures because the future, no one can predict. [But] at that time, my comment in the dressing room was, ‘If this boy keeps his head on his shoulders, he will play for India sooner than later.’ But even the lord almighty could not have seen that he would go on to get hundred hundreds and so on.”

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Kohli admits confusion over Pant and Iyer in batting order



India’s captain Virat Kohli revealed that Rishabh Pant was not supposed to bat at No. 4 in the third T20I against South Africa in Bengaluru. He admitted to a “miscommunication” between Pant and Shreyas Iyer, saying the latter was slated to bat at No. 4 if India were two down within the 10th over.

As it turned out, India were 63 for 2 in the eighth over when Shikhar Dhawan advanced down the pitch and carved left-arm wristspinner Tabraiz Shamsi to extra-cover. However, Pant walked in ahead of Iyer, and Kohli put it down to a communication breakdown in the dugout.

“I think there was a miscommunication there,” Kohli said. “That’s what I understood afterwards. The batting coach [Vikram Rathour] had a word with both of them and there was a misunderstanding of who has to go [in] at what stage of the game. So, it was a bit funny afterwards because they both wanted to walk in. It would have been very funny if both had reached the pitch… three batsmen [would have been] in the field. Yeah, I think it was a miscommunication in the middle.

“We had it planned according to phases. So, after 10 overs we decided Rishabh would walk in. Before that Shreyas had to walk in. So, I think both of them got confused and didn’t realise who had to walk in at what stage of the game.”

There has been some debate over Pant’s batting position and shot selection in recent times. Coach Ravi Shastri was critical of Pant’s shot selection in the Caribbean and it came into the spotlight once again when he heaved a half-tracker straight into the lap of short fine leg against South Africa in Mohali.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar suggested that slotting Pant in at No. 5 would ease the pressure on him, helping him play his attacking, natural game.

“Giving him a bit of breathing space by slotting him at No. 5 could also help, for at that number he will invariably come in to bat where his aggressive batting is needed from the start rather than when he has to build his and the team’s innings,” Gavaskar wrote in Sunday Mid-Day. “Just like a little tweak in the grip can make a world of difference to a player as a bowler or as batsman, so also a little tweak in the batting order could change the fortunes of a player.”

After coming in at No. 4 on Sunday, Pant tiptoed to 12 off 17 balls before fiercely slog-sweeping seamer Dwaine Pretorius over the fine-leg boundary. He added just one to his tally before holing out to long-off against left-arm fingerspinner Bjorn Fortuin for 19 off 20 balls. Two balls later, Iyer was stumped off a leg-side wide for 5 off 8 balls. From 63 for 1 India lost 5 for 35 and eventually the game.

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Nicole Bolton shows early-season form on return to action



Nicole Bolton made an impressive return to action for Western Australia with back-to-back half-centuries on the opening weekend of the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL).

Bolton, who was part of the Australia squad that retained the Ashes in England in July, opted out of the tour of West Indies to focus on her mental health following a previous break from the game last season.

In the first two matches for Western Australia she struck 77 off 106 balls against Queensland and 63 off 80 balls against Tasmania to help her side begin with a brace of victories. In the Tasmania game she also picked up 2 for 26 from her 10 overs.

Speaking at the end of the West Indies tour, Australia coach Matthew Mott said he had been in contact with Bolton over recent weeks.

“Bolts and I have been in touch via WhatsApp and she’s in a really good frame of mind and looking forward to the first round of the WNCL,” Mott said. “For her it’s just about reentering and getting back into the swing of things and hopefully scoring some runs, but she seems really happy which is great.”

Australia will name their T20I and ODI squads on Wednesday for the series against Sri Lanka that starts at the end of month. After a cleansweep in the Caribbean, Mott said that he did not foresee many changes.

Bolton, who isn’t considered as a T20I player, featured in the three ODIs on the Ashes tour with scores of 2, 1 and 4 while also playing in the Test.

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