Gloucestershire 46 for 2 trail Derbyshire 200 (Higgins 5-54) by 154 runs
A five wicket haul from Ryan Higgins gave promotion contenders Gloucestershire the edge on the opening day of the match against Derbyshire at Derby. Higgins bowled superbly to take 5 for 54 from 22 overs as Derbyshire were bowled out for 200 with Josh Shaw finishing with 3 for 50.
Alex Hughes top scored with 39 on his return to the Championship side but Gloucestershire's batsmen also struggled in bowler-friendly conditions as they closed on 46 for 2.
Gloucestershire's decision to make first use of a grassy pitch brought immediate rewards as Derbyshire lost both openers with only 5 on the board. David Payne found bounce and movement to have Billy Godleman caught behind without scoring before Higgins began his impressive pre-lunch shift by finding Luis Reece's outside edge.
Higgins was rewarded for maintaining a full length and repeatedly making the batsmen play to leave the field with outstanding figures of 3 for 13 from nine overs, six of them maidens. Wayne Madsen, who came into the match averaging nearly 50 against Gloucestershire, was bowled by one that swung in late to knock out middle stump and a similar ball trapped Tom Lace in front two overs before the interval.
In between, Leus du Plooy had edged a loose drive at Shaw to second slip and Gloucestershire's domination continued after lunch as Harvey Hosein edged Higgins to first slip. When Matt Critchley was struck in front by Ben Allison making his first-class debut on loan from Essex, Derbyshire were 95 for 7 but Hughes and the lower order carried the home side to an unlikely batting point.
Hughes faced 138 balls and batted for nearly three hours until he was beaten by another full length ball from Higgins that moved late to end a stand of 55 in 16 overs with Fynn Hudson-Prentice.
Shaw tempted Hudson-Prentice into fishing at a wide one but some muscular blows from Logan van Beek, including a straight six off Payne, frustrated Gloucestershire until a smart slip catch removed Ravi Rampaul.
The visitors had 19 overs to negotiate and after beating the bat several times, Reece had James Bracey caught behind for 5 in the 12th. Rampaul then struck in the next over when Gareth Roderick could only edge a ball that left him late low to third slip where Critchley took a smart catch.