Redfern leads Derbyshire to valuable win
Derbyshire took another big stride towards promotion as Dan Redfern and Tim Gronewald steered them to a thrilling two-wicket victory over Kent in the LV= County Championship match at Derby.
Redfern struck the winning boundary off Mark Davies in the fourth over after lunch to complete his fifty and take the Division Two leaders past their target of 295 following a dramatic morning in which Charlie Shreck had threatened to win the match for Kent.
Derbyshire went into the fourth day as favourites, needing another 127 with eight wickets in hand but Shreck picked up four scalps to reduce the hosts to 236 for seven.
Yet Redfern, who survived a difficult chance to skipper Rob Key when he had scored only one, was well supported by Tony Palladino and then Groenewald, the latter making 20 out of a stand of 41 to settle a pulsating contest.
There was no hint of the drama to come when Usman Khawaja and Wes Durston calmly batted through the first 10 overs of the morning to take their third wicket partnership to 102.
Shreck, however, was rewarded for a tireless spell from the City End when he had Khawaja caught behind for 56 off the last delivery of the 70th over and then removed Durston with the first ball of the 72nd.
Durston departed for 55 as Shreck moved one back into him to gain an lbw decision and then Richard Johnson went for a drive and edged to second slip.
Shreck had taken three wickets in nine balls and the momentum was shifting towards Kent when Matt Coles got one to lift sharply at David Wainwright, who was caught low down at third slip for two.
Jonathan Clare pulled Coles through midwicket for four but then got a leading edge off Shreck and was caught at mid-off for 12 to leave Derbyshire rocking.
Yet Palladino, who had bowled so well earlier in the game, helped steady their nerves by adding 21 with Redfern, who was striking the right balance between aggression and caution.
He cover-drove Shreck for successive fours from an over that cost 13 and Groenewald edged the fast bowler to the vacant third man boundary in his next over.
Lunch was delayed by four overs to try and finish the game before Derbyshire finally sealed a victory that takes them 26 points clear at the top of Division Two when Redfern drove Mark Davies for his fifth four.