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Derbyshire repel late Australia push to draw

A late flurry of wickets saw Australia A set up a tense final half hour runs on the final day at the County Ground, only for Chris Durham (12*) and Mark Footitt (3*) to guide Derbyshire to safety.

The hosts had looked comfortable throughout their innings with Usman Khawaja (66) and Dan Redfern (56 and pictured) both passing 50.

However Nathan Lyon (4-115) and Mitchell Johnson (3-47) impressed as the tourists threatened to wrap up an unlikely victory in the closing stages of the match.

Earlier in the day, Australia had taken their overnight score to 221-7 before declaring, leaving Derbyshire chasing 315 to win the game from a minimum of 73 overs.

That target looked a long way off when Wayne Madsen became the first wicket to fall, caught at 2nd slip by Steven Smith off the bowling of Johnson for nine.

Khawaja then joined Matt Lineker at the crease and the pair safely negotiated the remaining passage of play to take the hosts to 22-1 at Lunch; requiring a further 293 for victory.

Following a brief interruption for rain the two batsmen knuckled down, taking Derbyshire past 100 with Khawaja passing 50 for the second time in the match; this time achieving it from 76 balls with five fours and two sixes.

However Lineker departed soon after, caught and bowled Lyon for 32, as Derbyshire lost their second wicket with 109 runs on the board.

Khawaja had reached 66 before becoming the second victim of the caught Smith, bowled Johnson combination as Derbyshire moved to 140-3 at Tea with Redfern and Ross Whiteley the men occupying the crease.

The pair then saw out the first half hour of the final session before the latter was trapped LBW to Jackson Bird for 11.

The wicket did nothing to deter Redfern, however, and the left-hander was soon bringing up a classy 50 with a pull through mid-wicket for four; his half-century coming off 54 balls with eight fours.

Redfern had added six more to his score before an expansive drive saw him caught at the wicket of Johnson; Derbyshire 196-5.

With an unlikely 115 runs required in the last hour, David Wainwright and Wes Durston nevertheless batted with intent; the latter hitting two bog sixes.

However with 10 overs remaining, Wainwright advanced and was comprehensively stumped off the bowling of Lyon for 18 with Tony Palladino – a centurion in the 1st innings – following suit shortly after; caught down the leg side off Johnson.

Durston was the next to depart off the bowling of Lyon for a 31-ball 40 to set up a tense finish with seven overs still remaining in the day and Australia requiring a further two wickets.

Mark Turner (1) then became Lyon's fourth victim leaving Durham and Footitt seven overs to negotiate to ensure a draw.

The pair then repelled Australia's late push with to secure the draw with Durham and Footitt finishing 12* and 3* respectively to end an entertaining three days of cricket at the County Ground.

Derbyshire return to Clydesdale Bank 40 action in Tuesday, 31st July with Kent the visitors to the County Ground as the hosts bid for a third consecutive win in the competition.

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