Mixed fortunes for brilliant Hughes
Chesney Hughes came agonisingly close to breaking a Derbyshire record set in the 19th century before Yorkshire responded with a worthy batting effort of their own on day two of the LV= County Championship Division One match at Headingley.
Unbeaten on 171 overnight, Hughes carried his bat for a magnificent 270 - the highest individual total against Yorkshire at this venue - as Wayne Madsen's side moved from 302 for four to 475 all out.
To their credit, the White Rose never gave in with the ball and subsequently went on to reach 164 for one in reply on the back of Joe Root's unbeaten 75 and a fluent 69 from Adam Lyth.
During the afternoon, George Davidson's 274 - Derbyshire's most substantial first-class score since 1896 - looked likely to be surpassed, yet Hughes was ultimately left stranded as Tony Palladino and Tim Groenewald fell in successive overs, the latter for a five-ball duck.
Nevertheless, it remained an astonishing display from a player who had made just 24 runs in three previous championship innings this summer. Usually a middle-order player but called up to open in this fixture, he had also been dismissed for 15 at the weekend when playing for Sandiacre Town against Denby in the Derbyshire Premier League.
Hughes did benefit from a degree of good fortune - a number of deliveries beat his bat today and he was dropped, on 70, by Jonny Bairstow yesterday afternoon.
However, some of the 22-year-old's strokeplay was a joy to behold, particularly when he made good use of his imposing frame by driving powerfully through the off side.
Hughes also demonstrated admirable patience throughout a 548-minute knock studded with 43 boundaries, including three sixes that all came yesterday in a stand of 258 with Wayne Madsen, the only other Derbyshire batsman to pass 30.
However, the visitors' hopes of claiming a first win of the season faded thereafter as Yorkshire made hay - with the minimum of fuss - on a surface offering little to the bowlers.
Derbyshire lost Dan Redfern without addition to their overnight score this morning when the young left-hander drove airily at Tim Bresnan and edged to second slip.
In truth, Yorkshire were unfortunate not to pick up another wicket in the opening hour, with Bresnan, who worked up a decent pace from the Kirkstall Lane End, particularly impressive.
Hughes gradually settled back into his stride, thumping Liam Plunkett through cover to reach 199 before bringing up his maiden double-hundred with a leg-side single in the next over.
He went on to deal almost exclusively in off-side boundaries as he stretched his partnership with the scratchy David Wainwright to 81, earning a fourth batting bonus point for Derbyshire in the process.
Wainwright and Jonathan Clare fell lbw in successive overs from Adil Rashid and Steven Patterson to give Yorkshire a lift, but a tiring Hughes remained and received able support from wicketkeeper Tom Poynton either side of lunch.
After the lynchpin of the innings had moved beyond 250, Poynton was bowled for 27 by Plunkett.
With a significant moment of Derbyshire history in his sights, Hughes then saw Jack Brooks bowl Palladino for 18 before Groenewald departed 10 balls later to the first ball he faced from Rashid.
Having maintained their discipline in trying circumstances, the hosts made an excellent fist of their riposte.
Lyth and Root set the tone by sharing 53 in 13 overs prior to tea and duly continued their assured progress well into the evening.
The former's off-side play lacked little in comparison to Hughes, while Root, who made a match-winning 182 against Durham last week, accumulated with the confidence one may expect given his meteoric rise in recent months.
Lyth gave his wicket away on 69 when slashing a half-volley from Groenewald to Redfern at second slip, ending a partnership of 126, yet Yorkshire could still be content with their position at stumps.