Palladino and Groenewald slay Leicestershire
Tony Palladino’s hat-trick and five wickets from Tim Groenewald ensured Division Two leaders Derbyshire dominated the opening day of their LV= County Championship match against Leicestershire at Grace Road.
After winning the toss, Leicestershire were soon in trouble at seven for three as Palladino trapped Michael Thornley in front, had Ned Eckersley caught behind and bowled Ramnaresh Sarwan.
Josh Cobb and Matthew Boyce steadied the innings with a fourth-wicket stand of 59 until they departed for 30 and 50 respectively.
Despite 48 from Kadeer Ali, Groenewald ripped through the lower order to complete figures of 5-29 from 17.4 overs and dismiss Leicestershire for 177.
In reply, Derbyshire - who slipped to their first defeat of the season at Bristol last week - reached five without loss before rain ended the day’s play early.
In Division One, James Hildreth and Craig Kieswetter came to Somerset’s aid after Middlesex’s seamers made early inroads on a rain-affected opening day at Lord’s.
Corey Collymore and Tim Murtagh rewarded Chris Rogers for his decision to bowl first with the wickets of Alex Barrow and Nick Compton as Somerset slumped to one for two.
Toby Roland-Jones bowled Arul Suppiah for 15, but Hildreth and Kieswetter joined forces to take the score to 125 with a fourth-wicket stand of 80.
Gareth Berg had Hildreth caught behind for 58 before showers brought the day to a premature end with Kieswetter unbeaten on 48 in Somerset’s 130 for four.
Ben Stokes continued his fine form as winless Durham enjoyed an encouraging day with the bat against Warwickshire.
Phil Mustard opted to make first use of the pitch at the Emirates Durham ICG, but Keith Barker snared Mark Stoneman for seven and Chris Woakes removed Gordon Muchall for a duck - both to Rikki Clarke catches.
Stokes and Will Smith shared a vital third-wicket stand of 109, before Chris Wright struck twice in quick succession to remove the pair for 66 and 47 respectively.
Dale Benkenstein and Paul Collingwood then took Durham past 200 with a partnership of 78 and, despite the former becoming Woakes’ second victim for 40, Collingwood was unbeaten with 43 of his side’s 228 for five.