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Derbyshire remain unbeaten

Derbyshire safely negotiated a rain-affected final day against Leicestershire at The County Ground to remain top of the LV=County Championship.

Martin Guptill hit an unbeaten 67*, whilst opening partner Paul Borrington finished undefeated on 18* as the hosts reached 91 without loss chasing a theoretical 314 to win before the two captains shook hands at 5pm.

Leicestershire had begun the day 76-1 - a lead of 220 runs - however progress was thwarted by Tony Palladino and David Wainwright; the pair restricting Matthew Boyce and Jacque du Toit to 44 runs in the opening hour.

Shortly after the former had reached a 107-ball fifty, his partner became the first dismissal of the morning, du Toit edging behind to Tom Poynton off the bowling of Jon Clare for 48.

With the visitors looking to force the issue, Ramnaresh Sarwan blasted 24 from just 13 balls, Leicestershire losing Boyce, caught and bowled Wainwright for 65 in the process.

Sarwan went soon after, mistiming and skying to Martin Guptill at backward point, with Ned Eckersley and Wayne White pinch-hitting for another two overs before the declaration came; Leicestershire 169-4d meaning that Derbyshire would have to chase 314 for victory from a minimum of 69 overs.

Facing a potentially difficult four overs before Lunch, Derbyshire began their second innings confidently, Guptill (20*) and Borrington (1*) safely negotiating the spell to send Derbyshire to 21-0 at Lunch; a further 293 required.

On a day that never saw rain too far away, the Lunch interval signalled the arrival of a heavy downpour leading to a rescheduled resumption time of 2:15pm; nine overs lost from the day.

However with the covers removed and players warming up, down again came the rain to frustration of all, with play finally getting underway at 3:15pm, 25 minutes before the scheduled Tea break.

It was a 25 minute period that both Guptill and Borrington came through with little trouble, reaching 48-0 at Tea, with the former 38* and Borrington unbeaten on 10.

Another brief rain delay insued to prior to the resumption of play, ensuring a loss of a further four overs; the equation, an improbable 266 runs or 10 wickets required from 27 overs.

With Derbyshire content to bat out and Leicestershire looking unlikely to make serious inroads, the session saw the Derbyshire openers spend valuable time in the middle with Guptill bringing up a well-crafted 50 from 62 deliveries, including six fours and a six.

The pair remained unbeaten as the game was declared a draw with 15 overs remaining in the day, Derbyshire picking up six points to Leicestershire's nine.

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