Redfern overcomes 99 problems
Dan Redfern took less than a day to complete his first objective of the summer.
The 22-year-old Derbyshire left-hander began the campaign with a highest first-class score of 99, having registered 15 half-centuries in 45 first-class appearances.
Given the importance batsmen place on registering hundreds, it was no surprise to see Redfern roll his eyes and break into a wry smile when reminded of this statistic at Derbyshire’s pre-season media day.
“It’s a massive thing I’ve been trying to get off my back,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“I’ve had a few chances before to get to it and got out in the nineties a few times, so hopefully this year I can get those extra few runs.”
Two days later, he did just that.
After Derbyshire had been reduced to 21 for three in their opening LV= County Championship match against Northamptonshire, it was left to Redfern, coming in at number five, to marshall a recovery.
In compiling 110 from 143 balls and sharing a fifth-wicket stand of 160 with Ross Whiteley, he made a significant impact on three fronts.
In one fell swoop, Redfern ended his long wait for a first-class ton, recorded the first hundred of the championship season and rescued his county from a position of peril.
His innings was not without fortune - he was dropped on 59 and 88 - but provided an encouraging glimpse of what could lie ahead for a player keen to kick on in his sixth season of senior cricket.
“I’ve been around the first-team squad for a few years now so one of these years, especially this year, I’ve really got to back up the faith that’s been shown in me and put in some good performances,” Redfern added.
“My target is 1,000 runs, like it is for any batter. Hopefully I’ll go past that.”
Should Redfern achieve his aims, he retains hope of reviving his international ambitions, having represented England Under-19s on 24 occasions.
Yet when asked about the possibility of breaking into the England Lions fold, he replied: “Obviously in the back of my mind I’m thinking about it, but there’s no point me thinking about it too much, because if I go out and get runs that will come.
“There’s no point in me trying to set a target of getting in the Lions or anything like that, because if I set a target of getting 1,000 runs in consecutive seasons say (and achieve it), then that will come anyway.”
If nothing else, Thursday’s hundred ensured he made the perfect start.