Footitt four ruffles Worcester
Worcestershire 221 for 6 (Fell 70, Mitchell 67, Footitt 4-61) trail Derbyshire 356 by 135 runs
Derbyshire again stood in the path of Worcestershire's promotion chase as Mark Footitt endorsed his England claims with another impressive display of fast bowling on the second day at Derby.
Footitt was a constant threat, combining pace with control to take 4 for 61 from 19 overs which helped restrict the Division Two leaders Worcestershire to one batting point in bowler-friendly conditions despite dogged half-centuries from Daryl Mitchell and Tom Fell.
The sustained accuracy and quality of Derbyshire's attack was highlighted by Fell's innings which contained 158 dot balls and at the close Worcestershire were still 135 runs behind on 221 for 6 in reply to Derbyshire's 356 all out. Derbyshire's last two wickets added 33 to secure a fourth batting point with Charlie Morris taking his fifth wicket when he had Alex Hughes lbw playing across the line for 74.
Cloudy skies suggested batting would be harder than on the first day and Worcestershire did well to reach lunch only one wicket down as Footitt and Tony Palladino, who conceded only 26 runs from 17 overs, bowled testing spells.
Although the floodlights were on, conditions were still not easy for batting and both Mitchell and Fell were beaten a number of times after Richard Oliver got a leading edge in the third over and was caught and bowled by Footitt, who conceded only 13 runs in his opening six over burst.
The fact only 46 came from 20 overs showed how difficult batting was and it got no easier in the afternoon as Footitt beat Fell repeatedly outside the off stump. Mitchell looked more secure but should have gone on 40 when he sliced a drive at Alex Hughes to gully where Billy Godleman juggled the ball but could not hold on.
The pair battled through the second session, scoring 80 in 34 overs, but Footitt changed the complexion of the game in the space of three overs after tea. Mitchell had shown good judgement until he left the third ball after the interval and was bowled for 67 and two balls later, Alexei Kervezee, who had scored hundreds in his previous three Championship matches against Derbyshire, was caught behind for a duck.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore carved Footitt to point and when Wayne White clipped the top of Ben Cox's off-stump, Worcestershire were 169 for 5 and still 38 runs away from the follow-on target of 207.
Fell defied the bowlers for more than four-and-a-half hours but when Derbyshire turned to the spin of David Wainwright, he chipped his first ball to midwicket where substitute fielder Scott Elstone took a low catch.
Joe Leach, who was struck on the back of the helmet by White, and Shaaiq Choudry averted the follow-on before Derbyshire claimed the second new ball shortly before the end of another good day for the home side.
"With the overhead conditions, it did a bit more than yesterday and credit to Derbyshire, they bowled really well, put the ball in the right areas and made life very difficult for us," Worcestershire captain Mitchell said.
"It was a case of survival, there wasn't much to feed off and Footy [Footitt] bowled a fantastic first spell with pace and swing. We are obviously behind the game at the moment but hopefully we can get some runs in the morning and then try and bowl Derbyshire out cheaply."
White, who has returned to Derbyshire on loan from Lancashire, added: "Footy caught fire in that after-tea spell and any lead on that wicket will be good because there's plenty going on, up and down bounce and it looks to be getting more uneven so chasing anything over 250 might be a tricky task.
"It's good to get back in with the Derby lads and my home club. We had a few frustrating spells, plenty went past the bat but more importantly we kept it really tight and five wickets in that last session has set us up for tomorrow."