Vaas puts Northants in control
Northamptonshire 267 and 285 for 6 v Derbyshire 190
A five star performance from Chaminda Vaas gave Northamptonshire the upper hand in the County Championship match against Derbyshire at Chesterfield.
The former Sri Lankan Test star bagged his sixth five-wicket Championship haul of the season to bowl Derbyshire out for 190 and earn his side a lead of 77. Alex Wakely and David Sales then made half-centuries as the Division Two leaders ended day two on 285 for 6, 362 runs in front.
The match had been in the balance at the start of the day with Derbyshire 151 runs behind with six wickets intact but Northants struck three times in the first seven overs to seize the initiative.
Lee Daggett set the tone with a brilliant diving return catch to remove nightwatchman Tony Palladino for 16 before Vaas showed his international class with a quality spell of swing bowling from the Pavilion End.
Dan Redfern advanced to 21 before he played on and the last ball of that over kept low to bowl Ross Whiteley for a duck. Daggett tempted Jon Clare to play at a widish ball which ended in the hands of second slip and the innings ended when Luke Sutton was caught behind sparring at Vaas who then knocked out Mark Footitt's off stump.
His figures of 5 for 65, which took his championship tally to 57, were his second five-wicket return in three innings and put his team in a good position. But Derbyshire hit back before lunch when Niall O'Brien was lbw playing across the line at Tim Groenewald.
Derbyshire needed a big afternoon session to get back in the game and Footitt raised their hopes by striking twice in successive overs. He had Kyle Coetzer taken low at second slip and then got some lift to have Stephen Peters caught behind for 32.
When Rob Newton slapped Clare to cover, Northants were 91 for four, still only 168 ahead, but Wakely and Sales turned the game with a century stand. Wakely had played soundly for 88 in the first innings and he again showed composure and good shot selection to pick off the bowling while Sales finally hit form with his first Championship fifty of the season.
Derbyshire's bowling lost discipline as the pair scored at five an over and they had put on 122 when Sales slashed at Groenewald and was caught behind for 65.
Wakely was denied a deserved century when he was lbw for 83 to a ball that kept low from Palladino but Andrew Hall and Tony Middlebrook made sure Northants closed in a commanding position by adding 60 in 20 overs.