Durston, Guptill lead Derbyshire fightback
Derbyshire 132 and 187 for 4 v Essex 207
Martin Guptill and Wes Durston led a spirited Derbyshire fightback in their Division Two match against Essex at Chelmsford. Both hit half-centuries as the visitors closed on 187 for 4 in their second innings, a lead of 112.
Guptill made 86 before he was bowled by Ryan ten Doeschate, but Durston goes into the final day unbeaten on 62 having completed 1,000 Championship runs for the season.
Derbyshire had gone in again 75 runs behind and lost two wickets before the arrears were cleared. Matt Lineker was caught behind off Maurice Chambers for 16 while Chesney Hughes was still seeking to open his account when yorked by Graham Napier.
That led to the arrival of Durston, and he and Guptill were to lead a recovery with some fine attacking strokes. Guptill never wasted an opportunity to attack, although he was helped by some indifferent bowling at times.
He certainly caught the eye with some powerful driving, even though in the latter part of his innings he had to operate with a runner after suffering a hamstring injury whilst fielding. Even so, it came as something of a surprise when he played a ten Doeschate ball into his stumps when seeking to add 16 to his boundaries.
Guptill's departure brought an end to a stand of 95, by far the best of the match so far, but did not disturb the concentration and resolution of Durston. He arrived at the 1,000 runs milestone when reaching 50 by steering David Masters to the vacant third man boundary. By then, however, he had lost Dan Redfern, an lbw victim of Masters.
Earlier, after rain had delayed the start until 2.30pm and cut 37 overs off the day's allocation, Essex soon lost their remaining wickets after resuming on 173 for 7. Their hopes of stretching their lead into three figures disappeared after ten Doeschate added just a single to his overnight 54 before he edged Tim Groenewald to Redfern at fourth slip and four runs later, the paceman struck again.
This time, Chambers paid the penalty for failing to offer a stroke to a delivery that cut back and was given out lbw. But Masters struck a few lusty blows in his undefeated 20 as he and Reece Topley carried Essex to their solitary batting bonus point as they were bowled out for 207.
Former Essex paceman Tony Palladino brought the innings to a close when he removed Topley to finish with 3 for 70, but Groenewald finished as the visitors most successful bowler with 4 for 78.