A career-best 6 for 33 from David Wainwright earned Derbyshire a sensational victory over Northamptonshire in a nerve-racking finale today.
The 27-year-old left-arm spinner’s heroics ensured a 202-run success for the home side with 8.4 overs remaining, and dark clouds looming ominously, to ensure celebrations at the end of a thrilling day of LV= County Championship cricket.
Beginning the final day on 213-0 in their second innings, leading by 235, Derbyshire quickly lost their overnight centurion, Martin Guptill, who was caught at midwicket, off the bowling of Lee Daggett, for 137.
The New Zealander faced 198 balls with 13 fours and a six in his magnificent innings. It was his second first-class century for Derbyshire.
A short rain delay followed after which Paul Borrington, who was 66 not out overnight, continued to progress towards his maiden Derbyshire century and Wayne Madsen scored a brisk 19 from 26 balls.
David Willey clean bowled the Derbyshire captain as he aimed to whip through the leg-side.
And there was a heartbreaking demise for Borrington who, after scoring 98 from 272 balls with 13 fours, edged Jack Brooks to second slip.
Dan Redfern continued to look in imperious form, scoring an unbeaten 26 at better than a-run-a-ball.
Wes Durston finished 12 not out as Derbyshire declared on 314-3, setting the visitors 337 to win in a shade over two sessions.
They got off to a bad start as Stephen Peters was lbw Mark Footitt off the final ball of the session.
Kyle Coetzer (3) then nicked Tony Palladino to the juggling Redfern at third clip. And the golden arm of Wainwright trapped David Sales in-front for six, leaving Northamptonshire 41-3 after 16 overs.
Despite the carnage at the other end, Rob Newton had looked untroubled and – when he found a partner in Alex Wakely (30) – the visitors began to ease towards safety with a fourth wicket stand of 62.
The atmosphere became subdued and a mood of anticlimax began to build as the opener passed 50 in 93 balls, with six fours.
But another twist was to follow as Wainwright reignited the contest with a brace of quick wickets before tea as 103-3 quickly became 103-5.
First Wakely popped a leading edge to Guptill close-in on the off-side. And Niall O’Brien quickly followed courtesy of a splendid one-handed slip catch from Durston.
Derbyshire began the final session needing five wickets in 34.2 overs to win. And they got off to a flier when Durston took the all important wicket of Newton for 58, caught at short-leg by Borrington, leaving Northants 105-6 with a minimum of 31.4 overs to go.
James Middlebrook and Vaas took 14.5 overs out of the game before the latter was lbw to the brilliant Wainwright for five.
And, in the final over of the last hour, the Yorkshireman had his fifth as Middlebrook’s attempted drive ballooned off Redfern at silly-point and was plucked by Footitt, leaving the visitors 127-8.
David Willey (7) padded up and was lbw as Wainwright took his sixth wicket at 132-9 with 11.3 overs to go.
And the home side were celebrating 2.5 overs later as Durston’s arm-ball ghosted past Lee Daggett’s outside-edge and clipped the off-stump to secure a magnificent victory.
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