Henderson reprises salvage act

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Claude Henderson & Mark Wallace

Claude Henderson followed up his unbeaten 80 against Glamorgan with 77 from 73 balls to lead a Leicestershire fightback at Derby

Claude Henderson rescued Leicestershire for the second game in a row after Derbyshire's seamers had taken advantage of bowler-friendly conditions at the County Ground.

Tim Groenewald took five wickets and Greg Smith three under overcast skies to reduce the visitors to 134 for nine before Henderson launched a defiant counter-attack.

The veteran spinner followed his unbeaten 80 against Glamorgan last week with 77 off 73 balls as he dominated a last-wicket stand of 96 with skipper Matthew Hoggard, who finished unbeaten on nine from 59 balls.

They carried Leicestershire to a respectable 230 and England Lions paceman Nathan Buck then took 3-42 to reduce the home side to 101 for four, with Wayne Madsen unbeaten on 41.

Derbyshire were again without injured Australia batsman Usman Khawaja, but Luke Sutton won an important toss and his decision to bowl first was quickly rewarded.

There was plenty of movement and lift which accounted for Will Jefferson, who could only fend Tony Palladino to first slip in the fourth over.

Jacques du Toit was lbw pushing half-forward at Groenewald, who then removed James Taylor with one that cannoned into the stumps off the batsman’s right glove.

At 34 for three, Leicestershire were wobbling but Greg Smith and Paul Nixon were starting to repair the damage before the opener launched a firm-footed drive at his namesake and was caught behind for 27.

Smith then got one to take off at Tom New, who was snared at short midwicket, and the innings disintegrated after lunch with four wickets falling for eight runs in three overs.

There were signs of uneven bounce as a lifter removed Nixon four short of a fifty and, after Buck had fallen for one, a shooter dispatched Nadeem Malik for a duck to give Groenewald three wickets in five balls.

But Henderson ambushed Derbyshire with a 32-ball fifty that included sixes off both Smith and Mark Turner as well as nine fours.

Hoggard faced 31 balls before he scored his first run but the pair had equalled Leicestershire's record last-wicket stand against Derbyshire of 96 by the time Henderson chased a wide one from Turner and nicked through to Sutton.

The momentum had certainly swung the visitors’ way when Buck knocked back Garry Park's middle stump in the second over and tempted Wes Durston into a rash drive.

But the Leicestershire bowlers struggled with their line until Hoggard removed Chesney Hughes' middle stump with an inswinger and Buck returned to trap Dan Redfern lbw with the last ball of the day.

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