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Lace inspires Derbyshire to 267 run lead over the Pears

Middlesex loan man Tom Lace scored an unbeaten 101 yesterday.

Century-maker Tom Lace gave another demonstration of his potential as Derbyshire built a position of strength on day two of the Specsavers County Championship with Worcestershire at Kidderminster.

 

Lace, who is on loan for the season from Middlesex, reached three figures in the final over of the day with a cover drive for four off Daryl Mitchell.

 

It came up from 266 balls and contained 15 fours as Derbyshire closed on 272-6 - a lead of 267.

 

The 21-year-old initially spent four games on loan with Derbyshire last season and scored his maiden Championship century – 143 against Glamorgan at Swansea – last month.

 

Lace returned to the side after not being able to play against his parent club in Derbyshire’s last Championship match and on today’s evidence looks a fine prospect.

 

He initially rebuilt the innings after the loss of two early wickets via a century stand with Wayne Madsen and then found another able partner in Harvey Hosein.

 

Worcestershire bowled with considerable discipline and Derbyshire were made to work hard for their runs and take few liberties.

 

But the pitch had flattened out considerably with the moisture disappearing from the surface after 20 wickets had tumbled on the first day in conditions helpful for seam and swing bowling.

 

Derbyshire resumed on 19-0 and yesterday’s trend continued initially with Luis Reece and Billy Godleman falling in successive overs.

 

Worcestershire club captain Joe Leach was the first to strike as Reece (20) was trapped lbw and then Godleman (26) nicked Dillon Pennington to Riki Wessels at first slip at 46-2.

 

But that was the last success enjoyed by Worcestershire before lunch as Madsen and Lace became entrenched.

 

They were initially cautious in their approach and the half century stand spanned 142 deliveries.

 

The pair extended their third wicket partnership to 103 in 40 overs during the afternoon session before Madsen, having made 60 off 125 balls with nine fours, miscued Dillon Pennington to Brett D’Oliveira at point.

 

Lace went onto complete his half century from 141 balls with seven fours out of 167-3.

 

But only one more run was added before the home side made another breakthrough.

 

Leus Du Plooy (8) fell victim to a fine catch by Callum Ferguson at mid off diving forward off D’Oliveira.

 

Derbyshire were then 168-4 with the game in the balance but Lace and Hosein ensured there was no major collapse.

 

Hosein had a let off when he inside-edged Ross Whiteley to the boundary to bring up the 200.

 

He and Lace negotiated the second new ball and added 82 in 31 overs but Ed Barnard broke the partnership when Hosein (33) holed out to Josh Dell at backward point.

 

The Worcestershire attack induced several edges and false strokes in the final hour and were rewarded when Matt Critchley (13) nicked Barnard to Daryl Mitchell low down at second slip.

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