Madsen leads Derbyshire fightback
Derbyshire 182 and 238 for 5 Leicestershire 276
Leicestershire's County Championship clash against Derbyshire is evenly poised after the bottom-of-the-table visitors staged a spirited fightback on the third day at Grace Road.
Derbyshire claimed the last four Leicestershire wickets for 16 runs and then converted a first-innings deficit of 94 into a lead of 144 by reaching 238 for 5 at stumps as they look for their first Championship win since April.
Wayne Madsen led the way with 66 off 129 balls sharing an opening stand of 86 with captain Chris Rogers and another half-century partnership with Garry Park. But left-arm spinner Claude Henderson kept the hosts in with a chance of their fifth win of the season by dismissing Dan Redfern in the penultimate over of the day to complete a spell that brought him figures of three for 41. Leicestershire began the day on 260 for six, a lead of 64.
But they failed to capitalise on the strong position they held, spending more than an hour scoring 16 runs in 16.1 overs for the loss of the last four wickets. Henderson had his middle stump uprooted by Steffan Jones in the second over of the morning and although Tom New reached a half-century - his sixth against Derbyshire - off 85 balls with five boundaries the runs then dried up.
Wickets fell with New the last man out when he was beaten going for a single by a direct hit on the stumps from Greg Smith. Smith finished with impressive figures of 3 for 40 off 23 overs and there was also a three-wicket haul for Jones.
Leicestershire did not make the best use of the new ball before lunch and both Rogers and Madsen were able to unleash a succession of boundaries as Derbyshire made a run-a-ball start in the first 11 overs. It was not helped by Madsen being dropped at slip off the bowling of Nathan Buck and the same player also survived a big lbw shout from Nadeem Malik.
But Rogers, who looked in fine form, fell three short of a half-century with Matt Boyce making up for his earlier drop by taking a sharp low chance at slip off Malik. Madsen had some good fortune on his way to 50, playing and missing on several occasions before Henderson struck finding the edge against Park with a delivery that bounced on the batsman.
Madsen's 129-ball innings came to an end when he mistimed an intended off-drive at Henderson giving Paul Nixon a catch at mid off. Derbyshire's run rate slowed in the evening session with Henderson keeping a tight grip on things before claiming the vital wicket of Redfern, leaving an impressive Chesney Hughes still there on 30 at the close.
It gave Derbyshire a useful lead of 144 but with rain forecast for the final day it will need some enterprising play from both sides to produce a positive result.