Duanne Olivier continues to harry Durham as Derbyshire close in
Derbyshire are well placed to see off Durham and if they do an unlikely promotion challenge will materialise
Durham 96 and 155 for 6 (Latham 67, Olivier 3-51) lead Derbyshire 205 by 46 runs Scorecard
Derbyshire were in a dominant position after day two of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two match against Durham at Emirates Riverside.
Before rain brought a premature end to the day, Durham found themselves in a desperate fight to keep the contest alive. A half-century from Tom Latham provided resistance, but the visitors managed to take wickets at regular intervals, led by Duanne Olivier's 3 for 51, to keep themselves on top. The home side had a lead of 46 at tea, after which there was no further play.
Derbyshire began the day 175 for 8, with Tony Palladino and Alfie Gleadall adding valuable late runs to the cause. They guided their side over the 200-run mark before the visitors were dismissed for 205 and a lead of 109 as Matt Salisbury and Chris Rushworth claimed the final two wickets.
Without stand-in skipper Cameron Steel due to a bruised arm, Michael Jones moved up to partner Latham at the top of the innings. Latham survived an early scare as he was dropped by Alex Hughes at second slip off the bowling of Hardus Viljoen on 9. However, Jones was clean bowled by Viljoen with a precise yorker to make the breakthrough.
Graham Clark joined Latham in the middle and the duo put on a fifty-partnership to calm proceedings, making serious inroads into the deficit. Clark had settled into his innings, but then played a loose shot when Hughes entered the attack to lose his wicket. Will Smith did not last long, top-edging a delivery from Viljoen straight to Callum Brodrick at backward point.
Latham continued his resistance by making a half-century in his first Championship appearance of the season. He displayed patience to reach the milestone in 104 balls, finding the boundary six times. However, Olivier returned to bowl from the Lumley End and produced a fine delivery to remove the New Zealander. The ball rose to take the edge, allowing Wayne Madsen to take the catch at first slip.
Olivier snagged the wicket of Ryan Davies in the same over before trapping Josh Coughlin lbw for 9 to leave Durham in huge trouble with only a slender advantage. Gareth Harte and Steel, batting at No. 8 due to his injury, managed to see off the visitors' surge, edging the lead towards fifty with a solid approach.
Rain came down at tea and it prevented further play on day two, although Derbyshire remain in a strong position with two days remaining in the contest.