County Championship: Billy Godleman makes century for Derbyshire against Lancashire

Former Middlesex and Essex batsman Billy Godleman has now made 20 first-class centuries - 14 of them for Derbyshire
Ex-Middlesex & Essex batsman Billy Godleman has now hit 20 first-class tons - 14 for Derbyshire
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Emirates Old Trafford (day one):
Derbyshire 244: Godleman 111; Gleeson 5-64, Mahmood 3-45
Lancashire 20-1: Rampaul 1-4
Lancashire (3 pts) trail Derbyshire (1 pt) by 224 runs

Derbyshire skipper Billy Godleman held up promotion-chasing Championship Division Two leaders Lancashire with a fine century at Old Trafford.

Godleman hit 16 fours and a six in a near five-hour knock of 111 - his first ton against the Red Rose - to help the T20 Finals Day first timers reach 244.

Richard Gleeson (5-64) and Saj Mahmood (3-45) were the main home threat before a frustrating 29-run last-wicket stand.

Derbyshire then winkled out Alex Davies as Lancashire closed on 20-1.

After the early loss of Davies to Ravi Rampaul in the sixth over, on 12-1, Keaton Jennings and Josh Bohannon painstakingly added just eight more runs in nine overs for the hosts under the Old Trafford floodlights before the close.

Lancashire old boy Luis Reece, who had shared an opening stand of 66 with Godleman earlier in the day, then proved a threat with the ball too, sending down seven overs for just 12 runs.

But the day's best effort with the ball came when Gleeson decimated the Derbyshire middle order with a burst of four for 15 in six overs. his fourth 'five-fer' of the summer, taking his haul to 38 wickets this season.

The hosts began this week 29 points clear at the top, having won six of their 11 games. needing 24 points from the final three fixtures to secure an immediate return to the top flight, following relegation a year ago.

If they pick up 20 more points in this round of fixtures than second-placed Gloucestershire, six more than Northants in third and one more than fourth-placed Glamorgan, they could also conceivably claim the Division Two title this week.

Lancs fast bowler Richard Gleeson told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"We'd have been happy with that at the start of the day after they chose to bat. It's always nice to get wickets. It was reversing a little bit, so it's nice to have the ball in your hand when that happens.

"That is the way Billy Godleman plays - he'll chance his arm and if you give him any width he'll have a slash at it. It gets under the bowlers' skins at times but it was a good innings.

"It would have been nice to go in none down but if we can get through the first hour, the dew might get on the ball and soften it up so we've just got to bat big."

Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman:

"At one stage, we were in with a shout of 300 which would have been a very good score but 240-250 means we are in the game.

"It has spun quite a lot on day one so hopefully it continues to turn and go up and down as the game goes and the fourth innings is more difficult. It is important we don't go searching for wickets.

"Lancashire are a fantastic team across all formats of the game. Obviously they'll be disappointed not to have made Finals Day because they're certainly the best T20 team we have played against so far."

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