Derbyshire 315 for 5 (Godleman 122, Madsen 72, Hughes 60 *) course Sussex 440 (Brown 116, Wiese 93, Finch 82, Ferguson 4-106) with 125 runs
It can be put with confidence by all those present at Hove that Ben Slater is still a Derbyshire cricket player. Yet at least a few days. The two electronic scoreboards showed his name in capital letters. Mike Charman, who doubles as Sussex's scorer and PA presenter, introduced him to the fold with a distinctive bloom and when a dodgy drive at a broad saw him fall to third slip, his 24 was appropriately added to his career in Derbyshire.
Strange, therefore, that the Nottinghamshire website is already proud to announce the completion of its transfer. Apparently he was available for selection for the current championship match against Hampshire, but he was not really because he beat Derbyshire in Hove. There was a wonderful ironic quote about how he could not wait to start at Trent Bridge; so much was obvious.
How was Notts jumped with the gun? Are they hacked? Can they blame the Russians in one way or another? No one knew for sure, but about the time the story was removed, and appeared as Error 404, Slater committed error 24. Cricket County is in a state of change, but to find two Ben Slaters operating in parallel worlds was a bit disturbing.
More relevant to Notts, whose record of signing top-order batsmen in the past 10 years has barely been one of unbroken success, the signing of Slater would be a gamble. Two of his three championships hundreds for Derbyshire came in a single game when they beat a pathetic Leicestershire with 408 points. That leaves another championship in four years.
On such days, Derbyshire's captain may feel an ungrateful task. But Billy Godleman, who had a good white ball season but only an average of 13 in the championship, reacted with 122 of 196 balls before being defeated by a leg spinner from Luke Wells – the second ball from Wells – who ran through the gate.
Godleman is not the most elegant batsman in the neighborhood, prospered by a series of shaved cuts – two in the first after lunch at Jofra Archer, Danny Briggs for six turning over the short limit on the scoreboard side, and Chris Jordan right through the point at to reach his first half of the season. He responded by crossing himself, probably praying that there was not someone else who played for Nottinghamshire.
The most stylish knock was played, as often, by Wayne Madsen, who is another batter who may be on his way and who fell for the first ball after tea was tried to cut Jordan, a shot that was pretty good and was not executed properly. Faced with Sussex & # 39; s 440, Derbyshire were 285 for 2 before Godleman fell, but they lost three wickets in a final session where Archer and Jordan set the tone in the first hour with Sussex's most disciplined stage of the day .
Sean Ervine, on loan from Hampshire, was shot for 2 by Ollie Robinson (a good but marginal call by the referee) and nightwatchman Hardus Viljoen pushed with perfect sobriety towards the last ball of the day, but was bled while Briggs was one rotated along its outer edge.
At 315 for 5, Derbyshire was close to 125 and Sussex, the second in the rankings, even came out on a demanding day. Alex Hughes, 60 not at night, only his second fifty of the season, carries much of Derbyshire's heap on a slow surface that speared the seam attack of Sussex but which offers some twist for the spinners.