Derbyshire enjoy solid day
A defiant last-wicket stand and good progress with the ball meant LV= County Championship Division One newcomers Derbyshire had their brightest day of the campaign so far at Lord's.
After Sam Robson continued his solid start to the season with 68 at the top of the order, Middlesex closed the second day on 179 for six in reply to Derbyshire's 231, 52 runs in arrears.
From an overnight 205 for nine, Tim Groenewald and Mark Turner carried their 10th-wicket partnership on to 50 before the former was caught behind for 25 off Tim Murtagh, leaving the latter 22 not out.
With a relatively modest score to defend, Derbyshire needed early success with the ball.
Giving their former captain Chris Rogers a life was not in the plan; Dan Redfern dived in front of first slip from second and spilled a catch off Tony Palladino.
To their huge relief, it did not cost them dearly as Groenewald, in a good spell from the Pavilion End that brought him 1-10 in seven overs, had Rogers lbw for 16 soon after.
Middlesex made solid headway through Robson and Joe Denly, who added 50 for the second wicket - albeit with the former enjoying a reprieve on 22 when Wayne Madsen shelled a head-high chance off Jonathan Clare.
But, yet again, Derbyshire quickly made amends; in Clare's next over and with only one more run added to the score, Denly drove at a wide ball, on 34, and first slip Wes Durston took a comfortable catch.
In the space of 10 deliveries, Middlesex were in some trouble at 90 for four, with Dawid Malan caught behind off Turner and the luckless Neil Dexter chopping down on the first ball of Palladino's second spell and watching as it rolled on to his stumps.
A heavy burst of rain stalled Derbyshire's progress and they had to wait until the 17th over after the resumption for a fifth wicket, but it was a big one as Robson edged Clare to first slip.
In the next over, John Simpson nicked Durston's off-spinner to slip to make it 140 for six, yet wicketkeeper Tom Poynton put down a low chance off Ollie Rayner soon after.
It proved costly as he moved on to 16 not out, seeing Middlesex to the close alongside Gareth Berg - who will resume on 27.