Jefferson ton builds solid position
Leicestershire 201 for 2 v Derbyshire 305
Will Jefferson posted his second century of the season to steer Leicestershire into a strong position on the second day of the County Championship match against Derbyshire at Grace Road.
The 31-year-old opener hit an unbeaten 117 as Leicestershire progressed to 201 for 2 by the close having dismissed Derbyshire for 305. Matthew Hoggard and Claude Henderson took four wickets apiece as Derbyshire lost their last five wickets for 35 runs during the morning session.
Then Jefferson and Tom New shared an opening stand of 141 with Leicestershire looking to press home the advantage they have gained. Jefferson, back in the side after missing two Clydesdale Bank 40 games because of a thigh strain, was in superb form reaching his century off 165 balls with his 12th four a sweetly-timed off drive off Mark Turner.
Jefferson's innings also included a magnificent six struck over long on off Azeem Rafiq who was making his Championship debut for Derbyshire having joined them on a one-month loan from Yorkshire.
That shot took Jefferson to 50 and came in the same over that Rafiq had claimed a tumbling return catch. It was not given after umpires Nigel Llong and Ismail Dawood had conferred and decided their was enough doubt about whether the ball had carried.
That was the only semblance of a chance Jefferson provided to the toiling Derbyshire attack. New on the other hand, needed rather more luck to reach his half century. He was dropped at slip by Usman Khawaja off Greg Smith when he was on 30 and was fortunate to see other edged shots fly through to the boundary.
But New rode his luck, stuck to his task and gave Jefferson the support he needed before being caught by wicketkeeper Luke Sutton flicking at a leg side delivery from Jonathan Clare.
Paul Nixon fell five overs later top-edging an easy catch to Sutton trying to sweep left arm spinner Chesney Hughes. But James Taylor and Jefferson saw things safely through to the close with the latter unbeaten having put together an impressive 117 off 202 balls.
The pre-lunch session had also gone Leicestershire's way after Derbyshire began on 238 for 5. From that position they were looking to build a big total but a fine six-over spell from Hoggard undermined them.
He took 3 for 25 to finish with figures of 4 for 78 and although Sutton became the third Derbyshire player to make a half century he was unable to push on for a bigger score. He was out to an excellent slip catch by Jefferson giving Henderson his fourth wicket of the innings leaving both sides with two bonus points each.