Harmison stars for resilient Yorkshire
Steve Harmison impressed as Yorkshire recovered from being dismissed for just 219 on the opening day of their LV= County Championship clash with Division Two leaders Derbyshire.
The top-of-the-table encounter saw the White Rose lose seven wickets for the addition of just 44 runs at one stage, but Harmison’s late heroics ensured his side would start day two in a strong position.
The former England paceman, on loan from Durham, recovered from a wayward opening spell to take 3-0 in 11 balls as Derbyshire slipped to 135 for seven at the close.
Phil Jaques top-scored with 61 for Yorkshire and Gary Ballance made 46 but the rest of the batting fell away as Mark Turner took three wickets in 12 balls to start the first collapse of a remarkable day.
The visitors’ decision to bat first had looked a good one despite the loss of openers Joe Root and Adam Lyth to Tim Groenewald in the first hour at Queen's Park.
Jonny Bairstow reeled off several handsome boundaries in making 27 but also rode his luck before edging a forcing stroke at Tony Palladino into middle stump.
Jaques and Ballance then took control, however, by adding 81 in under 16 overs.
The latter looked in fine touch against his former county but Turner removed him with one that lifted, and then had Anthony McGrath caught behind and Richard Pyrah lbw playing across the line.
Jaques skied a sweep to midwicket and, although Harmison and Steven Patterson took Yorkshire to a batting point, they had thrown away a good position.
When Harmison conceded 27 in his first three overs - which contained five wides and two no-balls - it did not look good for the visitors, but Derbyshire also batted poorly after reaching 43 without loss.
Skipper Wayne Madsen and Usman Khawaja fell to loose drives and there were more poor strokes when Harmison returned for his second burst at the Pavilion end.
Jonathan Clare was caught behind chasing a wide ball and Wes Durston also went after one he should have left alone and edged to second slip to give the fast bowler his first Yorkshire wickets.
He had a third when former Yorkshire spinner David Wainwright pulled a bouncer into the hands of long-leg and, when play finally ended at just after 7pm, the game was back in the balance with Derbyshire trailing by 84 runs.