Madsen best gives Derbyshire control
Northamptonshire 220 and 17 for 0 v Derbyshire 480 for 5 dec
Opening batsman Wayne Madsen reached his highest ever first-class score as Derbyshire took control against Northants on a rain-affected third day at Wantage Road in the County Championship.
Only 26 overs in the morning were possible before the rain fell, during which Madsen reached 179 before he was eventually dismissed by Northamptonshire paceman Jack Brooks - this after skipper and fellow opener Chris Rogers had scored 141 yesterday.
The visitors added 103 for the loss of three wickets to their overnight total before declaring on 480 for 5 once the rain had subsided, leaving the hosts to bat out a nervy eight overs without loss in the evening.
The visitors began the day 157 runs ahead with Madsen on a mammoth 163 and youngster Paul Borrington on 41. But it only took Madsen until the third over of the day to reach his previous best first-class high score of 170, made against Gloucestershire on his Derbyshire debut last July.
But he could only make nine more before he was caught at slip by Andrew Hall off the bowling of Brooks having faced 344 balls and smashed 17 fours and one six. Hall's wicket ended a third-wicket stand of 123 and Northants did not have to wait long before they claimed another.
Greg Smith - recently installed as Derbyshire's vice-captain - made just eight before he gloved James Middlebrook to Vishal Tripathi at short leg. Borrington reached a diligent half-century from 155 balls with a thin edge that nearly carried to wicketkeeper Paul Harrison but resulted in a boundary.
John Sadler was next in and he began his innings in explosive fashion, smashing a huge six off Middlebrook over mid-on. But his innings was all too brief for Derbyshire's liking as he made just 14 before he was bowled by Northants skipper Nicky Boje, the former South Africa spinner clipping the top of the leg stump before the rain triggered an early lunch.
The rain subsided briefly an hour later but, just as the players were due to return to the field, the heavens opened again and they retreated to the dressing room.
Derbyshire declared their innings shortly before play restarted at 5.50pm leaving Borrington unbeaten on 79 and former South Africa international Robin Peterson on 22. It meant that Northants needed to negotiate eight overs in gloomy conditions to survive to the close but openers Stephen Peters (10) and Tripathi (5) held onto their wickets to leave trailing by 243 runs.