Derbyshire close in on victory despite Hasan Azad vigil

Mark Cosgrove plays watchfully Getty Images

Leicestershire 120 and 110 for 4 (Azad 44*) need a further 124 to beat Derbyshire 139 and 214

Derbyshire picked up two key wickets in the afternoon session before rain closed in as their Specsavers County Championship match against Leicestershire continued to hang in the balance at the Fischer County Ground.

Chasing a target of 234 to win, Mark Cosgrove and Hasan Azad had added 58 for Leicestershire's third wicket and on 82 for 2 were beginning to accelerate nicely when Cosgrove, having hit occasional offspinner Wayne Madsen back over his head for four two balls earlier, attempted to repeat the shot and holed out to long-on for 28. As traps go, it was hardly well camouflaged, and there was a disbelieving silence around Grace Road as the Australian left the field.

Soon afterwards Colin Ackermann had his off stump knocked back by a fine delivery from left-arm seamer Luis Reece, leaving Leicestershire's hopes resting on the slim shoulders of Azad, playing in only his fourth Championship match. The 25-year-old, who has just graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Chemical Engineering, made half-centuries in each of his first two games, and has so far made 90 runs and batted for over six hours in this match without being dismissed.

Leicestershire had hoped to be chasing less than 200 when the visitors resumed in the morning on 160 for 8, a lead of only 179, but Logan Van Beek and Tony Palladino added another 30 runs before Palladino was leg before to a full delivery from Chris Wright.

Last man Ravi Rampaul also made a useful contribution, reaching 14 not out before van Beek was bowled by a Dieter Klein inswinger.

Palladino and Rampaul were then similarly influential with the ball, as Leicestershire opener Ateeq Javid edged a Palladino outswinger to wicketkeeper Harvey Hosein before Rampaul induced Leicestershire captain Paul Horton to chop a wide delivery on to his leg stump.

Leics 4th innings Partnerships

1st16PJ HortonA Javid
2nd8PJ HortonHassan Azad
3rd58MJ CosgroveHassan Azad
4th24Hassan AzadCN Ackermann
5th17Hassan AzadHE Dearden
6th5LJ HillHE Dearden
7th5D KleinLJ Hill
8th16CJC WrightLJ Hill
9th2CJC WrightWS Davis
10th17CJC WrightMohammad Abbas