Palladino's seven inspires Derbyshire
Derbyshire 132 and 168 for 2 need127 more runs to beat Kent 265 and 161 (Palladino 7-53)
Tony Palladino celebrated the first seven wicket haul of his career to lead a Derbyshire fightback against Kent that turned the Division Two match at Derby on its head.
Palladino, the 29-year-old seamer who last week scored a hundred as nightwatchman against Australia A, ripped through Kent to claim 7 for 53 as the visitors were bowled out for 161 despite skipper Rob Key's disciplined 81 from 156 balls which left Derbysire, the Division Two, leaders chasing 295 for victory.
An opening stand of 83 between Wayne Madsen and Matt Lineker put them on course and then Usman Khawaja and Wes Durston blunted the Kent attack to leave the Division Two leaders only 127 runs short of victory on 168 for 2 when rain forced an early close.
Kent had gone into the third day holding the best hand with a lead of 226 and seven wickets intact but Palladino's inspired burst coupled with reckless batting saw them collapse to 161 all out before lunch.
Only Key showed the necessary application as Palladino and Tim Groenewald swept away the remaining seven wickets for 52 in 19 overs. Groenewald started the slide by having Michael Powell caught at short midwicket to end a stand of 66 and the rest of the innings imploded as Palladino took 5 for 23 in 12.5 overs.
Key must have been dismayed to see several of his team-mates fall to loose shots while he worked the ball into the gaps and he looked set to carry his bat when Palladino had him caught behind.
An acrobatic catch by David Wainwright at midwicket gave the former Essex man his seventh victim and match figures of 9 for 118, the best of his career, and his inspired spell had put Derbyshire right back into a game that looked to have slipped away from them.
Derbyshire had batted poorly in the first innings but this time they played with greater discipline and patience to chip away at their target. The opening pair were together for 26 overs before Madsen gloved a ball from Matt Coles and Lineker was lbw for 45 off 97 balls playing forward to James Tredwell's offspin.
At 95 for 2, the game was back in the balance but Khawaja and Durston played with composure and selectivity to share an unbeaten stand of 73 while Kent's frustration threatened to boil over with Charlie Shreck showing petulance when an appeal for a catch behind was turned down.