Tony Palladino was an unlikely hero with the bat as Derbyshire fought to stay in the game versus Leicestershire at the County Ground today.
The number ten batsman top-scored with a serene 38 in tense circumstances as Karl Krikken’s men avoided the follow-on by the skin of their teeth and trail Leicestershire, who are 76-1, leading by 220, heading into the final day.
Mark Footitt had earlier wasted little time mopping-up the Leicestershire tail as 318-7 overnight became 324 all out within 3.5 overs of the resumption. Footitt and Tony Palladino finished with three wickets apiece.
But the visiting seam attack proved to be even more potent as, without Martin Guptill who wasn’t permitted to open having spent time off the field through injury, Paul Borrington and Wes Durston were quickly dislodged by the slippery Robbie Joseph, leaving the home side 6-2.
And although Wayne Madsen and Dan Redfern put on 55 for the third wicket, a blast from the not-too-distant past was about to haunt the home side.
Wayne White is a product of the Derbyshire age group system and he played 11 first-class matches for the county of his birth prior to signing for Leicestershire in 2009.
And having already haunted his former team mates with a century two seasons ago, this time White was at it with the ball; drawing edges from Madsen (24) and Martin Guptill (16), then cartwheeling Jonathan Clare’s off-stump for 13 on his way to career-best figures of 5 for 54.
Nadeem Malik, meanwhile, was busily nicking off Redfern (30) and Ross Whiteley (5), David Wainwright (17) feathered Claude Henderson’s first ball of the match through to the keeper, Tom Poynton nicked White behind for 15 and Derbyshire were 151-9 needing a further 24 to avoid the follow-on.
But Palladino produced the kind of crisp stroke-play that would befit an opening berth, let alone batting at number ten, as he contributed exclusively to a 29-run ninth-wicket stand, off 16 balls, with Footitt; scoring 38 off 49 deliveries in total before carving one down the throat of deep point to complete White’s five-for and conclude the innings.
The follow-on had been impressively saved as Derbyshire were all out for 180; a first innings deficit of 144 runs with around 125 overs remaining in the match.
Derbyshire were dreaming of a collapse when Footitt trapped Greg Smith (7) lbw early on with the score on just 12.
But the Leicestershire ship was steadied by Matthew Boyce (43*) and Jacque du Toit (25*) who navigated their side safely to the close,
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