Northamptonshire 342 (Bavuma 134) and 122 (Palladino 4-33) beat Derbyshire 146 (Hudson-Prentice 55, Sanderson 5-46) and 246 (Lace 41, Procter 4-26) by 72 runs

Northamptonshire boosted their chances of promotion by wrapping up a 72-run victory over Derbyshire at Chesterfield before lunch on day three.

Derbyshire's prospects of reaching a target of 319 on a pitch that was marked as below average always looked slim when they went out on the third morning needing another 164 with five wickets left.

Tom Lace top scored with 41 and Fynn Hudson-Prentice followed his first-innings unbeaten half-century with 26 not out but Luke Procter finished with 4 for 26 as the home side came up short on 246.

Although in the words of ECB Cricket Liaison Officer Dean Cosker "variable bounce and deviation" on day two resulted in the verdict on the Queen's Park surface, none of the wickets that fell on what became the last day could be blamed on the pitch.

Lace clipped Brett Hutton firmly to midwicket where Temba Bavuma held a good low catch before Harvey Hosein played across the line at Proctor.

Matt Critchley struck Matt Coles for two fours in an over but the on-loan Essex paceman had the final word by bowling him via an inside edge with Derbyshire still needing another 113.

Tony Palladino fenced at Proctor and was caught behind but Hudson-Prentice again played well and Ravi Rampaul delivered late defiance by driving Coles into the sightscreen and pulling him for another four.

The end came when he pulled Ben Sanderson to deep square leg where Bavuma, in his final match for the county, made no mistake which was fitting given his first-innings century was by some distance the highest score in the contest.

"It was an important toss to win, getting runs on the board was important and Temba Bavuma's innings was outstanding," Northants head coach David Ripley said. "We are grateful for the way he played.

"I think the pitch was just a little bit dry at the start and there was that little bit of uneven bounce for the seam bowlers which I guess means we are going home early. I'm just glad we got the points and three batting points so we've had a good three days."

Derbyshire head of cricket Dave Houghton said: "We lost the game with a bad session in the middle of the first day. We had a magnificent fightback to give ourselves a chance to win but realistically you lose a session by that much you are going to do well to stay in the game.

"I look at the wicket and think back over the game and I didn't see a batsman get hit on the fingers, I didn't see any ball crawling along the ground. It wasn't a road, it was a result wicket and I thought it played pretty well."