Leicestershire 246 & 186 Derbyshire 177 & 217 Leicestershire win by 38 runs
THE task of making 256, the highest score of the match, unsurprisingly proved beyond Derbyshire here yesterday and Leicestershire, backing up their bowlers with some highly efficient catching, got home to their second Championship win of the season by 38 runs.
It could and probably should have been much closer. Just before tea Derbyshire needed 74 with six wickets standing and Kim Barnett and Michael May had dug in and started to pick off errors of length and line effectively.
The pitch had lost some of its pace yesterday but Alan Mullally, swinging the ball both ways at a healthy rate, was still a handful, though his partner James Ormond soon departed with a strained groin.
The duel between Barnett and Mullally provided an entertaining sub plot. Mullally bowled fast, straight and sometimes short. Barnett took him on spectacularly, once collecting 14 off an over, and while he was there Derbyshire always had a chance. He made 50 out of 66 with controlled strokes. As tea beckoned, though, his concentration lapsed for the first time and the left-arm spinner Matthew Brimson straightened one to defeat his intended drive and have him caught at slip via some part of the wicketkeeper.
In the next over, May, trying to repeat what had become a profitable stroke off his legs, got a leading edge from Vince Wells' outswinger and the bowler took a splendid diving one-handed catch. After that, with two fresh batsmen to attack, Leicestershire never relaxed their grip.
Karl Krikken, neither forward nor back, was caught behind off Mullally and three wickets had gone at the same total. Though Dominic Cork drove Brimson for a straight six, discretion appears still to be not part of his game. Off the next ball he was caught at slip attempting something similar and soon afterwards a gritty, thoroughly absorbing old-fashioned day's cricket was over.