Henderson fifty rescues Leicestershire
Stumps Derbyshire 101 for 4 (Madsen 41*, Buck 3-42) v Leicestershire 230 (Henderson 77, Groenewald 5-59)
Claude Henderson rescued Leicestershire for the second game in a row after Derbyshire's seamers had taken advantage of bowler-friendly conditions at Derby. Tim Groenewald took five wickets and Greg Smith three under overcast skies to reduce the visitors to 134 for 9 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. They carried Leicestershire to a respectable 230 and England Lions paceman Nathan Buck then took 3 for 42 to reduce the home side to 101 for 4, with Wayne Madsen unbeaten on 41.
Derbyshire were again without injured Australian 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 his right glove. At 34 for 3, 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 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 two big sixes off Smith and Mark Turner and 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 when Henderson chased a wide one from Turner.
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.