Last-wicket stand denies Derbyshire
Northamptonshire 220 and 237 for 9 drew with Derbyshire 480 for 5 dec
Paul Harrison and Jack Brooks batted out the final 79 balls to help Northamptonshire hold on for an unlikely draw against Derbyshire in their County Championship clash at the County Ground.
Four wickets from Greg Smith and some woeful home batting had given the visitors a great chance of victory but Harrison and Brooks had other ideas. And Derbyshire will be cursing their luck after seeing more than 58 overs lost to the weather in the final two days.
Northants began the final day still 243 runs behind but with their 10 second-innings wickets intact and openers Stephen Peters and Vishal Tripathi unbeaten.
But they were to lose Peters in the third over of the day for just 14 when he was trapped lbw by Derbyshire spinner Robin Peterson. Tripathi and Alex Wakely, who was on a pair, then put on Northants' first 50 partnership of the match before Tripathi made his maiden County Championship half-century from 85 balls.
The 22-year-old then went past his previous best first-class score, 55, made against Oxford University last year, before two wickets prior to lunch opened the game up.
The former Lancashire youngster went cheaply when he smashed Smith straight to Garry Park at mid-on to end their second-wicket stand of 105. Wakely (39) quickly followed with Park running him out at mid-off with a direct hit at the stumps after he attempted an ill-advised quick single.
The middle order collapse continued with the third ball after lunch when Rob White (five) edged Mark Footitt to wicketkeeper Lee Goddard. David Sales then made just two before he edged Peterson to Tom Lungley at slip to leave Northants floundering on 145 for 5 - still 115 runs behind.
Mercifully for them, it started raining heavily soon afterwards leading to a delay of 40 minutes and a loss of 11 overs. Park was brought into the Derbyshire attack after the resumption and with his second over, he knocked out home captain Nicky Boje's (12) middle stump.
A full toss from Smith in the first over after tea then bowled Andrew Hall for 27 as the hosts waved the white flag. Smith claimed his third victim when James Middlebrook misjudged a straight delivery and saw his off stump toppled.
But the home side finally dug in with the ninth-wicket pairing of Harrison and David Lucas lasting 24 overs before Smith caught Lucas (16) leg before. But Brooks followed Lucas' lead and remained not out on five from 34 balls with Harrison's unbeaten 32 coming from 144 deliveries.