An unchanged side backed-up their first four-day win at Hove since 1996 with a dominant 56-run triumph over title-contenders Middlesex at the end of August.
Captain Wayne Madsen once again led the way completing his third century of the campaign on Day One – in the process becoming the first man to reach 1,000 LV= County Championship Division One runs. It was also the first-time he had reached 1,000 first-class runs in a season.
The 29-year-old’s unbeaten 138 - and a late quick-fire 49 from Tim Groenewald - helped the hosts post an imposing 385 at the County Ground despite losing the toss.
Attention now turned to the Derbyshire seam attack – and they didn’t disappoint. Mark Footitt (3-69), Groenewald (3-54) and Matt Higginbottom (3-59) backed up their heroic displays against Sussex to share nine wickets and dismiss Neil Dexter’s side for 249.
Things were a little tougher second time round. A gritty 59 from Richard Johnson, however, spared the blushes of the hosts’ top-order to post a respectable 160 and, more importantly, set the visitors a healthy 297 for victory.
It was a nerve-gangling final day at Derby as Derbyshire sought the final eight wickets for the win.
Despite two dismissals in an over from Footitt (4-65) and the visitors seeming out for the count on 121-7, a rear-guard 85-run stand between Ollie Rayner (46*) and Gareth Berg (71) made all inside an anxious County Ground sweat as Middlesex eyed an unlikely victory.
With less than 100 required, the partnership, to mass relief, was at last broken by Academy graduate Higginbottom.
It signalled the end of the Middlesex resistance.
And when Tim Murtagh was removed, by yet another graduate Peter Burgoyne, it sparked wild celebrations as a weight was lifted off Derbyshire shoulders from another job well done.
After going 10 games without success, Derbyshire had secured two wins in as many outings to install renewed hope of survival – a vast contrast to the faltering campaign of three weeks prior.
Part Three will follow tomorrow...
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