Derbyshire lead by 112 runs with 2 first innings wickets remaining.
Wayne Madsen and Tom Poynton added a quite staggering unbeaten 259 runs for the ninth wicket as Derbyshire put in a breathtaking performance on the penultimate day at Wantage Road.
Having been reduced to 253-8, Madsen (223*) and Poynton (105*) both smashed personal First-Class career-bests to come within 25 runs of the World Record for the ninth wicket; a record that could feasibly go tomorrow.
An unbelievable afternoon of cricket saw the league leaders reach 512-8 at the close, a first innings advantage of 112 over Northamptonshire, with two first innings wickets still remaining.
Resuming on 163-5, the early losses of Ross Whiteley (0) and David Wainwright (14) ensured that Derbyshire were in a fight to avoid the 250 follow on target despite a half-century from Madsen, coming from 115 balls with nine fours.
Madsen, however, found support in the form of Jon Clare, and the pair added 47 for their eighth wicket, taking the score to 253 before the latter departed for a 29-ball 28.
Then began an incredible stand for the ninth wicket between the captain and Tom Poynton.
With a deficit of close to 150, the pair began confidently reducing the first innings arrears and at lunch Derbyshire had moved to 282-8 with Madsen 93* and Poynton 12*; trailing by 118.
The afternoon session exclusively belonged to Derbyshire as the Northants bowlers were put to the sword, with Madsen wasting no time in reaching a century of vital importance, coming from 187 deliveries with 17 fours.
A third batting point, which at one stage had seemed unlikely, was then secured before the pair raced to 350 to see the visitors collect four batting points as Madsen and Poynton reached a hugely impressive 100 run stand.
Minutes before the Tea interval and there were milestones galore as Madsen reached his 150 from 270 balls with 23 boundaries whilst Poynton moved to his second First-Class 50, coming from 93 balls with six fours as Derbyshire reached 401-8 at the end of the session.
Derbyshire’s incredible momentum continued into the evening session as both players passed career-best First-Class scores; Derbyshire moving past 450 as the ninth wicket stand passed 200 runs.
The world record ninth wicket stand of 283 runs, set by Derbyshire’s Warren and Chapman back in 1910, was all of a sudden in jeopardy, however of more immediate concern was the four that took Madsen to his first double century for the county, coming from 356 balls with 29 fours; a monumental effort.
Madsen’s knock also took him past Muhammad Azharuddin’s record for a batsman coming in at five for Derbyshire; 205 set at Chesterfield in 1994.
Having been 253-6, Derbyshire had moved to a scarcely believable 500-8, whilst in the process, Poynton’s terrific knock had resulted in the young keeper reaching a well-deserved maiden First-Class century, coming from 194 with 10 fours.
All of a sudden, the pair were 36 runs away from eclipsing the highest ninth wicket partnership of all time.
Derbyshire had reached 512-8 with Madsen 223* and Poynton 105*, a ninth wicket unbeaten stand of 259 runs at the close of play.
Should Derbyshire elect to bat on tomorrow morning, the pair will be 25 runs away from beating the highest ever ninth wicket stand.
A quite unbelievable day.
Inside Edge: 'Memorable day at the crease. Great to turn the game on its head. Looking forward to more of the same tomorrow.' - Wayne Madsen
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