Victory efforts thwarted in Derby
Leicestershire and Derbyshire were frustrated by the weather as rain wrecked the prospect of an exciting finish to the LV= County Championship Division Two match at Derby.
The visitors had set the home side a target of 314 in a minimum of 69 overs, but heavy showers dashed both sides’ hopes and the game ended in a draw at 5pm, with Martin Guptill on 67 from 75 balls in Derbyshire’s 91 without loss.
Leicestershire had started the final day in a strong position with a lead of 220 and nine wickets in hand, yet needed to press on to give themselves enough time to bowl Derbyshire out with rain correctly forecast for the afternoon.
Matthew Boyce and Jacques du Toit took their stand to 109 in 42 overs and had just started to accelerate when the latter fenced at a rising ball from Jon Clare to be caught behind for 48.
Ramnaresh Sarwan flicked David Wainwright over midwicket for six but Boyce drove back a return catch in the left-arm spinner’s next over after scoring 65 from 134 balls.
Sarwan went in the next for a 17-ball 24; he sliced a drive at Mark Footitt to cover. Wayne White was four not out on his 27th birthday when the declaration came at 169 for four.
That left Derbyshire with a potentially tricky four overs to negotiate before lunch, though Guptill dealt harshly with some short balls from Robbie Joseph to score 20 by the interval.
Several heavy downpours delayed the restart until 3.15pm and cut the number of overs by 25, which left Derbyshire needing another 293 and Leicestershire 10 wickets in 40 overs.
With a draw now looking a certainty, the visitors brought on Claude Henderson to improve their over-rate and Guptill dispatched a low full toss over midwicket for six before play was held up after tea by another shower.
Ironically, the County Ground was bathed in sunshine when play resumed at 4.15 pm, but the contest was over at that stage.
Guptill made the most of the situation to reach his second fifty of the season - from 62 balls - with a square cut for four off Joseph.
He added two more before the draw was confirmed, with Leicestershire taking nine points and Derbyshire, who stay top of Division Two, six.