A battling half-century from Wayne Madsen kept Derbyshire in the hunt versus Kent today as the race for promotion continues.
The Derbyshire captain scored 64 from 135 balls as Derbyshire were 200 all out in reply to Kent’s 261 before a sensational end to the day saw them reduce the home side to 59-3 in their second innings.
Paul Borrington (23) batted through the pain of a broken nose to share a third wicket stand of 52 with his captain.
But Derbyshire were quickly in trouble at 130-8 with Michael Davies taking 5 for 27, only for Tom Poynton (45) and Tim Groenewald (22 not out) to keep the visitors in the hunt with a ninth-wicket stand of 51.
Two late strikes from Wes Durston and a final delivery pole for David Wainwright ensured a further dramatic twist in the tale after an opening partnership of 58 between Sam Northeast (26 not out) and Robert Key had seemingly put Kent in command.
Battling performances from Glamorgan versus Yorkshire and from Essex versus Hampshire are, meanwhile, ensuring the victories required by Derbyshire’s promotion rivals remain no formality as the race for promotion intensifies with six days of cricket to go.
Derbyshire's Second XI, meanwhile, scored 342-8 on the final day of their match versus Lancashire at the County Ground to escape with a draw; Tom Hamilton and Ben Slater starring with half-centuries.
The Bears have elected to ship the 24-year-old back to Edgbaston following an injury to Tim Ambrose.
Johnson played two first-class and three List A matches during his two loan spells at the County Ground including a finest hour of 79 in the Clydesdale Bank 40 victory over Yorkshire Carnegie at Chesterfield.
The St Lawrence Ground is one of the more picturesque in the county game and with it bathed in bright sunshine, Kent captain Rob Key had no hesitation in electing to bat first when he won the toss.
Derbyshire’s new ball bowlers were extremely economical, with the Kent run rate hovering around the one run per over mark for the first dozen overs. However, it was the unpredictability of paceman Mark Turner that notched Derbyshire’s first success of the day when a rising delivery was glanced down the leg-side into the accepting hands of Tom Poynton. Groenewald quickly got in on the act as well, as he pinned Alex Blake LBW for 1 to leave Kent 34 for 2 after 16 overs.
There was a nice symmetry to Derbyshire taking on Lancashire in a three day fixture to conclude their season, having opened it with a one day match against the same opponents at Middlewich back in April.
The opening day was blessed with clear blue skies and the mercury touching 25 degrees, conditions scarcely experienced throughout this most bedraggled of summers.
Kent have won the toss and will bat first at Canterbury on Day One of Derbyshire's penultimate LV=County Championship match of the season.
Derbyshire: Wayne Madsen (c), Paul Borrington, Usman Khawaja, Wes Durston, Dan Redfern, Ross Whiteley, David Wainwright, Tom Poynton (wk), Tony Palladino, Tim Groenewald, Mark Turner.
Derbyshire played out a draw at the County Ground on a day where all three results were possible up to the completion of the game.
Essex had set the hosts 274 in 58 balls to secure victory and a 107 run partnership between Wes Durston and Dan Redfern gave Derbyshire a chance.
But for young wicketkeeper Tom Poynton it is one that he has negotiated admirably and ably in this, his first year as the county’s number one glove man.
‘Luke Sutton retiring at the end of last season came as a bit of a shock to me and the lads, because we all saw him as our leader going forward; but it did end up being a great opportunity for me personally.’ The academy graduate said.
By Jake Needham
Derbyshire had been reduced to 28 for 3 late on the first day and – with the second day entirely lost to the weather – they were still 217 in arrears as the third day commenced under cloudy skies at the County Ground.
Losing star all-rounder Wes Durston caught behind, off Masters in the first over of the day, certainly wasn’t in Captain Wayne Madsen’s blueprint for the start of a pivotal session.
The County Ground was not completely devoid of activity on a soggy Day 2, however, as England & Wales Cricket Board Chairman Giles Clarke gave his press conference from the County Ground in the wake of England Captain Andrew Strauss’s retirement from cricket.
Entry for under 16’s is FREE for both remaining days of the match. Adult entry is 2 for 1 including a free guest for members and advanced ticket buyers..
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