Derbyshire closed 44 runs behind Nottinghamshire with five wickets still in hand, after the hosts had earlier dismissed their East Midland’s rivals for 443 on Day 3 at the County Ground.
James Taylor top scored with 112 for the visitors, but three wickets from Jonathan Clare and two apiece for David Wainwright and Tim Groenewald limited Nottinghamshire's lead to 187.
An 83-run stand between Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Wayne Madsen helped Derbyshire recover after losing two early wickets, but both fell in the final session as the hosts closed on 143-5.
Speaking after the game, Madsen said: "I think our bowlers bowled really well this morning. We were very disciplined and the bowlers did a fantastic job on a flat wicket.
"We started off nicely with the bat. It was a little disappointing that myself, Shiv and Ross got out at the end there as we were in quite a nice position. But we will now have to fight hard in the morning, we have guys to come in who can bat and if we can get a good lead and with a bit of rain in the air who knows what can happen.
"If we can get a 100 or a 150 run lead then we could be in the game. It is important that we stick to our task tomorrow and fight for every run and hopefully put some pressure on them, and as I said you never know."
Resuming Day 3 on 325-5 at a sunny County Ground, Nottinghamshire would add only seven more runs before losing their first wicket of the morning as Read (33) flashed at a good length delivery from Groenewald and was caught by Tom Poynton behind the stumps.
England all-rounder Stuart Broad was the next man in and he wasted no time, hitting 41 runs from just 43 balls which included four fours and two sixes, before the paceman was finally dismissed by Clare.
The 26-year-old would claim his third wicket of the match with his very next delivery as new batsman Andre Adams fended a good length delivery to slip and it was superbly caught by the diving Wes Durston to reduce the visitors to 391-8.
Taylors’ obdurate innings continued and he was unbeaten on 93 when Nottinghamshire entered Lunch on 419-8, a lead of 163 runs. The 23-year-old completed his century shortly after the restart, but he would soon be walking back to pavilion after he was caught by Dan Redfern off Wainwright for an excellent 112.
Nottinghamshire lost their final wicket with the very next delivery as Groenewald trapped Harry Gurney lbw first ball, as the visitors were dismissed for 443 from 144.1 overs.
Derbyshire lost two early wickets in reply being reduced to 24-2, but Captain Madsen and Chanderpaul would lead the hosts’ recovery producing a 30-run stand to move the scores onto 54-2 at Tea.
The pair would continue where they had left off after the restart with both players producing some exquisite shots to reduce the deficit below three figures. Chanderpaul soon completed his second half century of the match after he hit Gurney for 14, two fours and a six, in one over to complete the feat in just 70 balls.
But the 38-year-old fell shortly after as he edged Luke Fletcher through to Read to end his 89-ball innings for 57, with Derbyshire on 107-3. Madsen and new batsman Redfern began the Derbyshire recovery, but it wouldn’t last long as the skipper was given out lbw to a low delivery from Gurney for 47.
Derbyshire lost Ross Whiteley shortly after, but Redfern and Wainwright safely navigated the last nine overs before the close finishing on 143-5, trailing by 44.
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