Derbyshire’s pace attack delivered a late twist to another enthralling day to give the home side a slender advantage in the LV= County Cricket Championship Division Two match against Lancashire at the 3aaa County Ground.
Mark Footitt and Tom Taylor dismissed openers Paul Horton and Luis Reece along with nightwatchman Peter Siddle as the visitors closed on 36 for three in their second innings, with a lead of only 55 with two days remaining.
That was after a fourth wicket stand of 148 between Billy Godleman (76) and Wes Durston (85) helped Derbyshire recover from an impressive opening bowling spell from Siddle to reach 274, with England spinner Simon Kerrigan also taking three for 21 from 18.5 overs
The late drama reflected the start of the day with Lancashire’s hopes of a third batting point vanishing when their last two wickets fell for one run with Taylor bowling Kerrigan and having Tom Bailey caught at third slip without scoring to leave the visitors on 293.
But Bailey trapped Ben Slater lbw before Siddle delivered a quality nine-over spell from the Racecourse end to remove Martin Guptill and Wayne Madsen as the home side slipped to 26 for three in reply.
Siddle was unlucky not to claim more wickets as he repeatedly beat Durston and Godleman but they hung on and took advantage when the Australian was rested.
They grew in authority as the second day mirrored the first with the batsmen prospering in the post-lunch sunshine as the ball lost its hardness.
Durston pulled Kyle Jarvis for his sixth four to reach 50 off 61 balls and Godleman brought up the 100 stand when he drove Smith to the cover boundary.
The opener steered Smith to third man for his eighth four to bring up his 50 and Lancashire had become desperate for a breakthrough when Durston tried to hit Kerrigan over the top and became the spinner’s 200th championship wicket.
Shiv Thakor became the third Derbyshire batsman to fall without scoring when he edged Bailey to first slip and Godleman was finally caught behind cutting at Jarvis.
The rest of the innings fell to spin but Alex Hughes, who hooked Jarvis for six, and Harvey Hosein both played well to deny Lancashire a bigger first innings lead.
However, Taylor and Footitt’s efforts with the ball as Horton was yorked, Reece edged behind and Siddle was taken low at first slip gave the match an intriguing edge going into the third day