COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION TWO, Cheltenham:
CLOSE OF PLAY DAY THREE: Derbyshire 326 and 323-6 dec, Gloucestershire 164 and 148-4 (Glos 3pts, Derbys 8pts)
12 - 15 July 2009 (Play starts 1100 BST)
Wayne Madsen hit a career-best 170 not out as Derbyshire closed in on victory over Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.
Resuming day three unbeaten on 71, the South African helped Derbyshire add 197 to their overnight 126-3 to declare their second innings closed on 323-6.
That set Gloucestershire 486 to win, but after reaching 71-0, Steffan Jones and Tim Groenewald both struck twice to reduce them to 91-4.
They eventually reached 148-4 at stumps, still 337 behind.
Much of Gloucestershire's hopes of saving the game will now depend on captain Alex Gidman and New Zealand all-rounder James Franklin who ended the day unbeaten on 39 and 21 respectively.
But the day belonged to 25-year-old Madsen, whose innings not only beat his previous best score of 132, made for Natal, but also saw him write his name into the Derbyshire record books.
His unbeaten 170, made off 274 balls and including two sixes and 23 fours, was the highest score by a Derbyshire player on a debut in first-class cricket, beating the 155 made by Peter Bowler against Cambridge University at Fenners in 1988.
Madsen lost nightwatchman Jake Needham in the first over of the day, but then shared stands of 117 with Wavell Hinds (54) and 78 with Greg Smith (34) for the fifth and sixth wickets before the declaration came.
He had some luck along the way, dropped by first Hamish Marshall on 74 and then by Kadeer Ali on 95, before completing his century by clipping Gidman through midwicket.
Craig Spearman and Kadeer started Gloucestershire's run chase solidly enough but after reaching 71-0, three wickets fell in 12 balls.
First Kadeer was bowled by a Jones leg-cutter, before Marshall was bowled playing no shot to Groenewald and Spearman edged a wide Jones delivery behind.
Chris Taylor soon nicked Groenewald behind to wicketkeeper James Pipe but although Gidman and Franklin counter-attacked before the close, Derbyshire will fancy their chances of taking the six more wickets they need to wrap up victory on the final day.