Luis Reece century leads Derbyshire response to Middlesex's 433

Luis Reece swats the ball leg side Getty Images

Derbyshire 308 for 4 (Reece 123*, Madsen 49, Higgins 1-39) trail Middlesex 433 (Higgins 163, du Plooy 57, Roland-Jones 52) by 125 runs

Derbyshire opener Luis Reece posted a maiden Lord's hundred to lead his side's steady response with the bat in their Vitality County Championship game against Middlesex.

The 33-year-old left-hander shook off a patchy start, sharing a third-wicket stand of 111 with Wayne Madsen and bringing up his century from 176 balls to reach stumps unbeaten on 123.

The visitors closed at 308 for 4, trailing by 125 after Middlesex had totalled 433 in their first innings, with overnight centurion Ryan Higgins last man out for 163.

Higgins, whose partnership of 71 with Ethan Bamber set a county record for the last wicket against Derbyshire, has now overtaken Northamptonshire's Emilio Gay to become Division Two's leading run-scorer this season.

Handily placed on 342 for 7 overnight, Middlesex lost captain Toby Roland-Jones for 52 in the third over, driving to mid-on where opposite number David Lloyd sprang forward to take the catch.

With Henry Brookes soon following, trapped leg before by a ball from Zak Chappell that kept low, it looked as though a fourth batting point might elude the home side - but Higgins and Bamber determined otherwise.

Bamber looked accomplished at the crease, compiling an unbeaten 21 as he chopped Daryn Dupavillon to the fence and Higgins raised the tempo, lifting Sam Conners for three leg-side sixes.

A rare untidy shot by Higgins, top-edging Conners over slip for four, took him beyond 150 and it was Reece who eventually wrapped up the innings as Madsen - narrowly avoiding a collision with Conners - gathered Higgins' slog-sweep in front of the rope.

That left Derbyshire six pre-lunch overs to negotiate and Lloyd started positively, punching Bamber off the back foot for two boundaries before he was caught at point trying to do it a third time.

Brooke Guest looked in good touch after the interval, having just driven Roland-Jones to the cover boundary when he was undone by the next ball, which nipped back down the slope to strike middle and off.

By contrast, Reece played and missed several times at the start of his innings, surviving close calls when he edged Roland-Jones and Bamber through the slips before eventually settling into his stride.

The left-hander formed a solid alliance with Madsen, whose first six scoring shots all flew to the boundary and ushered the 40-year-old beyond the landmark of 14,000 first-class runs in Derbyshire colours.

Although leg-spinner Luke Hollman caused Madsen problems, with one inside edge flying just past the stumps, he looked poised to emulate Reece's half-century until Brookes broke the partnership with a fearsome rising delivery in the first over after tea.

Madsen, on 49, attempted to fend the ball off and could only glove it to wicketkeeper Jack Davies - yet his dismissal did little to slow Derbyshire's scoring rate as Reece and Matt Lamb began to accelerate.

Lamb targeted the short boundary in a breezy 30 before Davies, standing up to the stumps, took a sharp catch off Higgins, but the keeper was unable to hold on to another chance soon afterwards when Bamber found Aneurin Donald's inside edge.

Donald, who had yet to get off the mark at that stage, took advantage to progress to 43 not out as Derbyshire pocketed their second batting bonus point prior to stumps.

Derbyshire 4th innings Partnerships

1st15LM ReeceDL Lloyd
2nd43DL LloydBD Guest
3rd2WL MadsenDL Lloyd
4th6WL MadsenMJ Lamb
5th4AHT DonaldMJ Lamb
6th5MJ LambAK Dal
7th42MJ LambAT Thomson
8th71AT ThomsonZJ Chappell
9th10AT ThomsonS Conners
10th4DM DupavillonS Conners