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Johnson and Palladino stand ignites Derbyshire fightback

JohnsonAn 82-run partnership between Richard Johnson and Tony Palladino helped Derbyshire post a competitive total on the opening day against Somerset.

Johnson top-scored with 56, while Palladino, who was making his first Championship appearance since suffering a side strain against Yorkshire at the end of April, struck 49, to move the hosts from 173-7 to 266 all out.

Somerset safely navigated the final seven overs to move onto 16-0, with Marcus Trescothick unbeaten on 10 and Nick Compton six not out at the County Ground. 

After losing the toss on a seamer-friendly wicket, Derbyshire made a solid start to the four-day fixture despite losing the early wicket of Billy Godleman for five.

Chesney Hughes and Wayne Madsen shared a 52-run second-wicket stand to move Karl Krikken’s side onto 67-1 after the opening 20 overs. Hughes led the way hitting three fours in his 25 from 60 balls, before the opener was the second man out, caught at second slip by Trescothick, to leave Derbyshire on 67-2.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul joined his Captain in the middle, but the West Indies international lasted only seven overs and was dismissed just before lunch for five, as the hosts entered the break on 84-3.

Wes Durston was caught behind for four shortly after the restart, but Madsen remained firm and led the counter attack completing his fifth half century of the campaign from 104 balls, including eight fours.

However, the Club Captain was dismissed in the following over for 50 as he was trapped by an Alfonso Thomas delivery that nipped back into the pads. Ben Slater was the next man out, caught by Trescothick at slip for 15 to reduce Derbyshire to 141-6.

Johnson and new man Jonathan Clare produced a stubborn seventh-wicket partnership, adding 32 runs in 16 overs, but the mainstay of the innings was between the wicketkeeper and the retuning Palladino.

The pair took the attack to the Somerset bowlers after tea, quickly passing 200 to claim the side’s first bonus point. The thriving partnership continued to flourish, with both batsmen regularly finding the boundary to complete the 50 partnership and move Derbyshire past 250.

Johnson hit seven fours on the way to his half-century, but his partner was dismissed just a run short of the same feat, as Palladino was caught at slip off Trego to end an 82-run partnership.

Keeper Johnson followed for 56, before the final wicket went down to dismiss Derbyshire for 266 in their first innings.  

Somerset had seven overs to navigate, which they did largely without incident, as the visitors closed on 16-0 - trailing by 250 runs - with Trescothick unbeaten on 10 and Nick Compton six not out.

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