Mark Cosgrove makes Derbyshire pay
Mark Cosgrove made Derbyshire pay a high price for dropping him by scoring yet another hundred at Derby as Leicestershire powered to maximum batting points on the opening day of the Division Two County Championship match against Derbyshire.
After he was missed on eight, the Leicestershire skipper dominated the bowling to finish on 137, sharing a third wicket stand of 175 with Colin Ackermann who made 118, his first century for the county.
Cosgrove’s previous three innings at Derby, where he made his career-best 233 for Glamorgan in 2006, were 156, 95 not out and 110 and he passed 13,000 first-class runs as Leicestershire closed on 415 for 3 with Ned Eckersley unbeaten on 77.
Derbyshire probably feared they were in for a long, hot day in the field when Cosgrove won the toss and had no hesitation in batting on a dry pitch in sunny conditions.
At least the bowlers made it difficult for the batsmen by maintaining a disciplined and consistent line until Leicestershire got away after tea and only 37 runs came from the first 16 overs before Tony Palladino found just enough movement to have Paul Horton caught behind for 20.
Harry Dearden and Ackermann played carefully for the rest of the morning but Dearden went shortly after lunch, caught at gully driving at Tom Taylor four short of his fifty.
Taylor should have had Cosgrove 12 runs later but Gary Wilson, who was not keeping wicket because of a recurrence of a knee problem, spilled the chance diving in front of first slip.
Perhaps it was a ‘keeper’s instinct that prompted Wilson to go for the catch but it proved an expensive miss as Cosgrove and Ackermann took advantage of the favourable conditions.
Ackermann launched Wayne Madsen’s off-spin over long on for six before he cut Jeevan Mendis for his 15th four to reach three figures from 149 balls.
The Sri Lankan leg-spinner found enough turn to have Ackermann caught at first slip but Cosgrove went smoothly through the gears to record yet another hundred at Derby.
In the second over with the new ball, he pulled and cut Rob Hemmings for boundaries to bring up his century which came off only 124 balls and included 17 fours.
It was the 34th of his first-class career, his 10th for Leicestershire and with Eckersley accelerating to a 49 ball 50, Leicestershire plundered 201 from 32 overs in the last session.