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Northants draw strengthens Derbyshire's position at summit

Match Drawn - Northants 9 points, Derbyshire 9 points.

A dramatic and eventful LV=County Championship encounter at Wantage Road eventually ended in a draw on the final day, with Derbyshire picking up nine valuable points in their quest for promotion to Division One.

After a sensational batting performance yesterday - click here for highlights -  Derbyshire produced more fireworks in the morning session to finish 569 all out.

Northants had then been reduced to 37-4 at Lunch, however the hosts failed to lose any further wickets the following session, with both captains shaking hands shortly after 5pm.

Earlier, much anticipation had greeted Wayne Madsen (pictured) and Tom Poynton as they resumed their phenomenal unbeaten stand of 259 on the fourth and final morning, with the world record 9th wicket partnership – set by Derbyshire in 1910 – just 24 runs away.

However it was not to be as Poynton departed to the eighth ball of the day, bowled Jack Brooks, for a superb 106.

The momentum of the Derbyshire innings then continued as Tim Groenewald hit a blistering 42 off 39 deliveries before finally succumbing LBW to James Middlebrook as the visitors – who at one stage had been 253-8 – were finally dismissed for 569.

Wayne Madsen, who had added eight further runs to his overnight score, finished unbeaten on a sensational 231 not out; the ninth highest individual score in Derbyshire’s history and a truly inspirational captain’s knock.

Facing a tricky period before Lunch, a draw was always the likely result and, with a first innings deficit of 169, Northants looked to have calmed any potential storm by moving to 25-0.

However a terrific spell of bowling from Derbyshire saw Kyle Coetzer (15), Alex Wakeley (1) and Niall O’Brien (11) dismissed to Tim Groenewald, Tony Palladino and David Wainwright respectively to leave the hosts 32-3 and the visitors sensing an opportunity.

That opportunity became even more realistic when former South Africa all-rounder Andrew Hall was caught at the wicket for five to give Palladino his second on the stroke of Lunch; Northants ending the session 37-4 and still 132 runs in arrears.

Any chance of a positive result slowly evaporated, however, in the afternoon as Rob Newton and David Sales batted sensibly to see out the session.

At Tea, Northants position was far less perilous at 153-4 and trailing by just 16 runs; Newton passing 50 in the process. 

The final session of the match continued in much the same manner as the second, with the two Northants batsmen looking comfortable; chasing down Derbyshire’s advantage as Newton impressively passed 100 for the second time in the match.

There was just enough time for Sales to reach 50 before the match was declared a draw shortly before 5pm, Northants 212-4 with Newton 119* and Sales 53* with both sides accruing nine points. 

Derbyshire remain top on 161 points, with Hampshire 17 points further back having played a game more, whilst Yorkshire are third, 30 points back on 141 points with three matches to play.

Inside Edge: 'Great effort to turn the game on its head after the first two days. We couldn't have thrown any more at them! Onto the next one!' - Tom Poynton

Next up for Derbyshire is the final Clydesdale Bank 40 match of the season at the County Ground, this Bank Holiday Monday, 145pm start before Essex are the visitors for a potentially season-defining match in the LV=County Championship.

Click here for details on special promotions for both of the above games including 2 for 1 offers and juniors free.

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