A double career-best performance from Nathan Buck was the highlight of another hard fought day between Derbyshire and Northants
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A double career-best performance from Nathan Buck was the highlight of another hard fought day between Derbyshire and Northamptonshire in the Division Two County Championship match at Derby.
Buck followed figures of 5 for 68 with 43 out of a ninth wicket stand of 89 with Max Holden who made an unbeaten 68 as Northants recovered from 171 for 8 to reach 291 for 9 at the close in reply to Derbyshire’s 281.
Will Davis with 4 wickets supported by sharp slip catching had put Derbyshire in charge before Buck and Holden kept their side in the game with a fighting partnership in the final session.
England batsman Ben Duckett and opening partner Rob Newton made half centuries to give Northants a solid platform but rash strokes transformed the contest after lunch.
Buck had taken two of the last four Derbyshire wickets in the morning as the home side added 62 runs with eighth wicket pair Alex Hughes and Tom Milnes contributing 42 in 11 overs.
Northants had the best conditions to bat in and when Duckett and Newton were together in bright sunshine, it looked ominous for the home side until poor shot selection allowed Derbyshire a way back.
Duckett had reached 50 with successive fours off Sri Lankan leg-spinner Jeevan Mendis but he then aimed a big drive at Shiv Thakor and was well taken at second slip by Daryn Smit who did well to knock up an edge from Alex Wakely for Wayne Madsen to take a good reaction catch.
Madsen did even better with a one-handed grab to hold Newton’s top-edged cut at Davis and when Northants lost four wickets in eight overs after tea, Derbyshire were poised to take a substantial first innings lead.
But Holden and Buck displayed the selectivity the recognised batsmen lacked to frustrate the home side for 20 overs with Buck straight-driving Mendis for six before he went back to the spinner and was lbw.
But that was not the end of Northants resistance as Holden and Ben Sanderson gave their side a slender lead which had looked highly unlikely when Rory Kleinveldt was caught behind off Davis.
It all added up to a disappointing evening session for Derbyshire who also lost Thakor who left the field with what appeared to be an ankle injury when he went over in his follow-through.
Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman said: “I don’t think as a bowling unit it was our most disciplined effort although everyone tried really hard, if not too hard at times.
“But we caught excellently and we are still very much in the game. Shiv seems pretty upbeat, it’s one of those where you have to to give it until the morning and see how it is but even though he’s on a crutch at the moment he seems ok.”
Talking of on his loan move from Middlesex to Northants, Holden said: “I was really keen to come. It’s quite funny because I remember speaking to Rips (David Ripley, head coach) when I was about 13 about joining Northants academy but I had already joined Middlesex a week or so before.
“I’m really pleased to get a chance to show what I can do and play first-team cricket and am grateful to Northants for giving me the opportunity. If we can eek out a few runs in the morning and get up to 300 that will be good.”
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