Derbyshire's 400th First-Class match at Queen’s Park lived up to its billing with an action-packed opening day of Derbyshire’s top of the table clash against Yorkshire.
Having bowled the visitors out for 219 inside the first two sessions, Derbyshire then reached 135-7 at the close; a deficit of 84 runs with three wickets remaining.
With the visitors winning the toss and electing to bat first, the match got underway on time against a backdrop of clouds and patchy blue sky.
Yorkshire set off briskly, moving the score to 34 without loss before Joe Root – who hit an unbeaten double-century on his last outing – cut loosely to Matt Lineker at gully off Tim Groenewald for 16.
34-1 then became 43-2 as Adam Lyth (19) received a virtually unplayable delivery from the same bowler, the ball rearing up and finding the edge to give Richard Johnson his first First Class dismissal behind the stumps for Derbyshire.
The duo of Phil Jaques and Jonny Bairstow then steadied the ship for Yorkshire, only for the latter to go shortly before the end of the session; the England Test batsman playing on to Tony Palladino for 27 as the visitors moved to 114-3 at Lunch.
Play had been curtailed for the session at 12:57pm due to rain and during the Lunch break Queen’s Park was subjected to an absolute deluge of rain for several minutes.
However a pitch inspection at 2pm saw the umpires make the decision to resume at 2:15pm, with just the solitary over lost as a result.
The next hour belonged to Yorkshire. With Jaques getting into his stride, ably supported by former Derbyshire Academy player Gary Ballance, the pair moved the visitors past 150.
A sumptuous cover drive from the former then gave the former Australia Test batsman his half-century; acquiring it from 78 deliveries including nine fours.
At 175-3, the momentum was firmly with the Yorkshire; however a superb period for Derbyshire saw the hosts address the balance in dramatic style.
First, Ballance, who had looked comfortable all afternoon, was forced to edge behind off Turner for 34 before Anthony McGrath (0) and Richard Pyrah (9) both returned to the pavilion courtesy of the same bowler as Yorkshire slumped to 185-6.
However the wicket procession was only just beginning as Wes Durston grabbed the prized wicket of Jaques for 61 followed, swiftly followed by former Derbyshire loanee Azeem Rafiq for 0; again off Durston.
Yorkshire were reeling at 185-8 and the situation could have been worse for Derbyshire’s promotion rivals as Steven Patterson and Steve Harmison were dropped by Dan Redfern and David Wainwright respectively.
However the reprieve did not last long and after the pair had guided Yorkshire past 200, Patterson (11) and then Harmison (23) fell to Groenewald and Durston respectively as the visitors collapsed from 175-3 to 219 all out.
An excellent performance from Derbyshire saw Durston (3-23), Groenewald (3-38) and Turner (3-53) all end with impressive figures.
With the final wicket falling on the stroke of Tea, Derbyshire began their reply at the start of the final session of the day with Wayne Madsen opening up with Lineker.
The pair had added 43 for the first wicket before Madsen’s cut could only find Rafiq at point off the bowling of Patterson for 15.
Lineker and Usman Khawaja – playing his first First-Class match for Derbyshire since returning – then played sensibly, taking the Derbyshire score to 70-1 and looking comfortable in the process.
However that soon changed as the introduction of Richard Pyrah accounted for Lineker; removing the opener’s off-stump for 33.
No further runs had been added when the visitors struck again, this time Moin Ashraf bowling Khawaja for nine; Derbyshire 70-3 with two new batsmen at the crease.
The game was then firmly back in the balance when the impressive Ashraf claimed his second wicket, that of Redfern who was adjudged LBW for nine, before Harmison had Jon Clare caught behind for one; Derbyshire 91-5.
Harmison was soon in the wickets again as Durston (16) played at a short and wide delivery, which was edged to Lyth at 2nd slip.
The home side’s collapse continued as Harmison – who had endured a difficult spell first up from the Lake End – was then creating more havoc; claiming his third wicket of his spell as Wainwright was caught at fine-leg by Ashraf for 0.
A late unbeaten partnership of 30 from Johnson (15*) and Tony Palladino (21*) then guided Derbyshire to 135-7 at the close; a deficit of 84 runs with three wickets remaining.
Derbyshire: Madsen (c), Lineker, Khawaja, Durston, Redfern, Clare, Wainwright, Johnson (wk), Palladino, Groenewald, Turner.
Yorkshire: Lyth, Root, Jaques (c), Bairstow (wk), Ballance, McGrath, Ashraf, Pyrah, Rafiq, Harmison, Patterson.
Elsewhere, Derbyshire Academy graduate Tom Knight was in fine form for England u19s, recording figures of 2-6 from 4.4 overs against Ireland u19s at Grace Road, Leicester.
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