Wayne Madsen led by example hitting a superb 97, as together with Peter Burgoyne the pair helped kick-start the Derbyshire fightback on Day Two against Sussex at Hove.
The visitors seemed to be in trouble on 139-6, but an excellent Captain's knock from Madsen - lasting 270 balls and including 10 fours - and an unbeaten 62 from Academy graduate Burgoyne helped Karl Krikken's side recover to 274 all out.
Tim Groenewald capped off a good day by claiming the late wicket of Chris Nash, as Sussex closed on 11-1, an overall lead of 51 runs with nine wickets remaining.
Derbyshire made a solid start in reply to Sussex’s 314 all out at the beginning of the second day, as Ben Slater and Chesney Hughes added 36 runs for the opening wicket and in good time. But the promising partnership was ended when Chesney Hughes fell for 13 before Slater followed shortly after for 16.
Krikken's men lost two more wickets before the lunch break, as Luke Wright removed both Shivnarine Chanderpaul (9) and Richard Johnson (1) in quick succession to leave Derbyshire in a spot of bother on 81-4.
Wickets continued to fall after the restart with Alex Hughes (11) and Tom Poynton (13) both failing to kick on after getting starts. But this brought Madsen and Burgoyne together and their outstanding 78-run partnership helped Derbyshire recover from 139-6 to 217-7.
Madsen‘s supreme innings was ended three runs short of a deserved century as he was tapped lbw by England spinner Monty Panesar. The right-handed batsman struck 10 boundaries in his knock of 97, to move him onto 898 Championship runs for the season.
Not to be undone, 19-year-old Burgoyne played freely throughout his unbeaten 105-ball innings - hitting eight fours and one six to complete his maiden Championship half-century – before Derbyshire were finally dismissed for 274, leaving the all-rounder stranded on 62.
Sussex, who had a slender 40-run lead, added 11 more runs in the final seven overs of play, but lost Nash who was comprehensively bowled by Groenewald for two, to leave the match in the balance.
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