Footitt puts the boot into Northants
Mark Footitt made a dramatic return to LV= County Championship action with his first five-wicket haul for Derbyshire as honours ended even on the first day against Northamptonshire at Chesterfield.
The 25-year-old fast bowler marked his first championship appearance of the season by blowing away the Northants top order before Alex Wakely and skipper Andrew Hall hit back with a stand of 116 in 29 overs.
Footitt took 4-8 in 25 balls to reduce the visitors to 85 for five, but Wakely’s 88 steered the visitors to 267. Although Martin Guptill made a rapid 55, Derbyshire closed on 116 for four, 151 behind.
Footitt was drafted in as a replacement for Mark Turner, who was out with a hip injury, and he grabbed his chance on a well-grassed pitch after Luke Sutton had put the Division Two leaders in.
Northants gave a debut to on-loan Durham batsman Kyle Coetzer, who was out in the middle in the third over when Stephen Peters edged Tim Groenewald into Sutton’s gloves.
Coetzer and Niall O’Brien quickly moved the score to 60, but Footitt struck in his second over when O’Brien edged a drive and was caught behind for 32.
Footitt then squared Coetzer up to have him taken at second slip for 27 and Rob Newton had his leg stump plucked out by a swinging yorker before David Sales went lbw for a second-ball duck on his first championship appearance since late May.
At 85 for five, Derbyshire were right on top but Wakely and Hall rebuilt the innings with a mixture of caution and aggression.
Footitt was less menacing in his second spell from the Lake End, although Hall was fortunate when a top-edged pull sailed over the wicketkeeper for six.
Wakely had batted soundly to reach a 79-ball fifty and the pair took their side past 200 before Jonathan Clare got some extra bounce to have Hall caught at a wide second slip for 45.
James Middlebrook played a couple of flowing cover drives before he was lbw to Groenewald and Wakely’s innings ended when he got an inside edge on to his pad in the 62nd over.
Footitt celebrated his best championship return of 5-53 when he removed David Lucas’s off stump and Derbyshire’s openers began confidently until Chaminda Vaas had Chesney Hughes caught behind in the 11th over.
Greg Smith was missed at third slip on nought but made only 10 before chasing a wide ball from Lee Daggett and Hall made no mistake at first slip.
Guptill came into the match on the back of two hundreds and a half-century and plundered 12 fours in an 85-ball fifty, but Lucas struck a big blow by having him caught at first slip to leave the match interestingly poised.