Derbyshire 205 and 69 for 4 need a further 199 to beat Durham 96 and 376 (Harte 114, Olivier 5-105)
Gareth Harte's maiden first-class century has put Durham in line for an improbable victory over Derbyshire in their Specsavers County Championship Division Two match at Emirates Riverside.
The home side looked down and out in the contest at 159 for 7 and a lead of only 50 at the start of day three, after losing Cameron Steel in the second over. However, Harte battled with the tail to guide Durham to a total of 376, leaving Derbyshire 268 to win the match.
Matt Salisbury and Chris Rushworth took quick wickets to leave the visitors four down, although Ben Slater remains at the crease giving Derbyshire hope of one final momentum swing to turn the match back in their favour on the final day, when they will need another 199 for victory.
The home side began the day in dire need of a special innings, holding a lead of only 46 with four wickets remaining, but Steel lasted only three more balls as he edged behind. Durham would have been fearful of a collapse, but Rimmington held firm alongside Harte at the crease.
Harte and Rimmington had a to deal with a hostile spell of bowling from Duanne Olivier and Hardus Viljoen, which resulted in Harte receiving a blow to the head. However, he held his composure at the crease, while the accuracy of Derbyshire's two South African bowlers failed them, allowing the extras total to build beyond 50 runs.
Durham's batsmen picked their moments to find the boundary, with Harte notching his maiden fifty in first-class cricket off 120 deliveries. Rimmington provided an excellent foil at the other end as the duo put on 100 for the eighth wicket to defy the visitors before lunch. The stand was broken just before the interval when Matt Critchley pinned Rimmington in front of his stumps for 42.
Harte and Salisbury put forward a faultless effort to see off the threat of the new ball from Olivier and Viljoen, blunting the visitors' attempt to regain their grip on the contest. Harte was fortunate in the 90s when an outside edge off Olivier just went wide of second slip. He knocked off the final two singles to secure his maiden ton off 218 deliveries.
The partnership was ended on 99 when Salisbury was bowled by Olivier, who notched his fifth wicket and 10th in the match. Harte cut loose to add quick runs, but was the final wicket to fall to Wayne Madsen, leaving Derbyshire 268 runs to win following a costly effort in the field, conceding 81 extras.
The visitors were under pressure from the off as Salisbury struck to remove Billy Godleman, bursting through his defences. Madsen followed for a second-ball duck, receiving a vicious bouncer that offered a simple return catch to Salisbury.
Rushworth then piled on the agony with two wickets in two deliveries, removing Alex Hughes and Critchley lbw. Slater was defiant late in the day, scoring 41 out of his side's 69, to give Derbyshire a glimmer of hope.