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Johnson leads Derbyshire riposte

Derbyshire wicketkeeper Richard Johnson struck a defiant half-century to lead a lower-order fightback in the LV= County Championship match against Somerset at Derby.

Johnson made 56 and shared an eighth-wicket stand of 82 in 22 overs with Tony Palladino as Derbyshire's last four wickets added 125 to lift the total to 266.

Wayne Madsen also hit 50 while Alfonso Thomas and Jamie Overton each took three wickets for Somerset, who closed the first day of the Division One basement battle 250 runs behind on 16 without loss.

The County Ground was under cloud when Somerset won the toss so it was no surprise that Marcus Trescothick put Derbyshire in on a green pitch, a decision that was quickly rewarded with the wicket of Billy Godleman.

Overton sent down five no-balls in his opening spell but a legitimate delivery found the outside edge of Godleman's bat in the sixth over and Trescothick held a low catch at second slip.

With the ball swinging in overcast conditions, Chesney Hughes and Madsen had some good fortune and Somerset had to wait another 15 overs for their next success.

Hughes had moved to 25 when he got a leading edge off Thomas and the ball went quickly to Trescothick, who again made no mistake.

There was an even bigger wicket in the last over of the session; Craig Meschede had troubled the batsmen with late swing and got his reward on the stroke of lunch when Shivnarine Chanderpaul pushed forward and was caught behind for five.

When former Somerset batsman Wes Durston went cheaply to Thomas in the third over after the interval, Derbyshire were 99 for four and in need of another rescue act from Madsen.

The skipper responded by reaching 50 for the sixth time in eight championship innings but, in the next over, fell lbw to Steve Kirby - who struck again when Ben Slater gave Trescothick his third slip catch.

Derbyshire were in danger of missing out on batting points when Jonathan Clare inside-edged a drive at Thomas and was caught behind but Palladino marked his return from a side strain by helping Johnson mount a recovery.

Johnson brought up the 200 by cover-driving Kirby for four, yet he should have gone on 34; James Hildreth dropped  a straightforward catch at slip off Thomas.

It proved costly for Somerset as the pair put together a half-century stand in 15 overs, with Palladino clipping Kirby through midwicket to secure a second batting point.

He was one away from a half-century when he edged Peter Trego to second slip, where Trescothick snaffled another excellent catch, and Johnson's fine innings ended as he steered Overton to gully in the next over.

Overton yorked Mark Footitt to finish with 3-35, which left Somerset with seven overs to negotiate.

England opener Nick Compton was missed on two when a mistimed hook at Footitt was put down by Slater diving at leg gully, but there were no further alarms.

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