Cork stops rot

Lancashire 587-9 dec Derbyshire 473-8
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The Independent Online
A belligerent record-breaking partnership by Karl Krikken and Dominic Cork thwarted the chance of a four-course championship feast for Old Trafford fans reared on a fast-food diet of one-day success.

Coming together 185 runs short of the 438 needed to avoid the follow- on, they created a new Derbyshire eighth-wicket record, Krikken reached his maiden century, and passed the follow-on target with a sumptuous straight six.

The rescue act was inspired by a typical piece of one-upmanship from Cork. Taking the attack to Lancashire with two straight sixes, he raced past Krikken. Then, when the highly unlikely became a remote possibility, Cork dropped anchor while Krikken maintained the momentum.

A wicket that had shown early signs of deterioration survived the baking heat, but the previously niggardly accurate Lancashire attack wilted. Signs of increasing turn dissipated as the Derbyshire resolve deepened.

Krikken passed his career best of 85 with an array of shots in an innings which included 14 fours and three sixes. The 198 partnership, ended when a Peter Martin delivery caught a defensive top edge, beat the record of 182 set in 1922 by Jackson and Carter against Leicestershire.

Throughout the day, Derbyshire batsmen had appeared equally comfortable only to fall victim to their own aggression.

Operating in short, sharp bursts, the Lancashire seam attack persevered, Glen Chapple the most dangerous. An unplayable fast leg-break clipped the corner of Adams's bat to loop to Watkinson at gully. The Lancashire skipper also held a stunning catch at second slip off Philip DeFreitas to make amends for two earlier difficult drops.

It was an eccentric end for Adams, who had exercised disciplined offence where his colleagues departed rashly. Dean Jones attempted to cut a Watkinson ball which was too straight for the shot and Colin Wells tried one swept six too many, top edging to Jason Gallian who seized responsibility for the skied effort from the keeper, Warren Hegg.

Watkinson spurned the new ball in favour of continued spin as the partnership between Cork and Krikken grew ominously. The batsmen devoured a succession of loose deliveries in the final session.

With a draw now the likely outcome, it was scant reward for Gallian's record-breaking triple century of the first two days.