Derbyshire 220 and 45 for 1 trail Nottinghamshire 508 for 9 (Hales 218, Read 75, Mullaney 50) by 243 runs
Alex Hales took his recent white-ball form into the Championship © Getty Images
Alex Hales delivered a compelling reminder of his international class with a brilliant double-century that put Nottinghamshire in total control of the Division Two match against Derbyshire at Derby. The England batsman plundered 38 fours and a six in a run-a-ball 218, which included a century between lunch and tea, and shared a sixth-wicket stand of 204 in 35 overs with skipper Chris Read.
Derbyshire’s bowlers contributed 50 extras, including 24 no-balls and 10 wides, to Nottinghamshire’s 508 for 9 declared which left the home side needing 288 to avoid an innings defeat. They started badly, losing Luis Reece to their former fast bowler Mark Footitt in the fourth over, and at the close were 45 for 1, still 243 behind.
Derbyshire might have thought it was going to be their day when Tony Palladino deflected a Steven Mullaney drive into the stumps to run out Samit Patel in the fourth over of the morning. When Mullaney sliced Tom Taylor to point, the game was still in the balance but Derbyshire’s bowling lacked the consistency and discipline required to put Hales under pressure.
There were 12 fours in his first 50 and he stayed in overdrive for the rest of an innings, which put his team in a dominant position and allowed Read to let his bowlers loose at Derbyshire before stumps.
Riki Wessels made only 13 out of a fifth-wicket stand of 80 before he gloved a lifting delivery from Hardus Viljoen, who was straight-driven by Hales for his 20th four to reach his first Championship hundred of the season.
With Read scoring freely from the start, 181 runs came in the afternoon session with Hales sweeping a Luis Reece full toss for his 27th four to go to 150. His 200 came from only 201 balls and after Read was caught behind down the leg side for 75, Hales struck two more fours before swinging Wayne Madsen to deep midwicket where Viljoen took a good running catch.
There was still more punishment to come as Jake Ball opened his shoulders and smashed four sixes in 43 off 24 balls before Read pulled out leaving Derbyshire to negotiate 12 overs. It was always going to be a tricky period for the openers and Reece did not survive, edging a loose drive at Footitt to give Read his 967th dismissal for Nottinghamshire.
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