Derbyshire stop the rot with tame draw

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Derbyshire ended a run of three consecutive defeats in the County Championship when their Division Two match against Leicestershire at Derby ended in a tame draw.

Leicestershire batted on in their second innings for 57 overs before declaring on 217 for 3 which included half centuries for openers Paul Horton and Harry Dearden.

A target of 304 in 33 overs was never realistic and the inevitable draw was agreed with Derbyshire 42 without loss from 10 overs.

There was always a chance the game would end in stalemate on such a lifeless pitch but the day began promisingly for Leicestershire who took the last two Derbyshire wickets in 11 balls.

Clint McKay struck with the third ball which moved away just enough to take the edge of Rob Hemmings bat and Tony Palladino gloved a pull to give Zak Chappell his fourth wicket.

A lead of 86 was increased to 183 at lunch by Horton and Dearden although Horton was given a life on eight when he was dropped at first slip by Wayne Madsen off Tom Taylor.

Horton completed his first 50 of the season before he was caught behind off Taylor and Dearden fell to a stunning piece of fielding by Billy Godleman who threw the ball up at long on to avoid taking it over the rope before completing the catch.

He took a more straightforward one to dismiss Mark Cosgrove and give Jeevan Mendis his eighth wicket in the game but the Sri Lankans match figures of 8 for 283 was the most expensive in Derbyshire’s history.

The game almost ground to a halt after Cosgrove’s departure with Colin Ackermann and Ned Eckersley scoring only 43 runs in 13 overs while Derbyshire slowed down the over rate.

Leicestershire finally declared three overs after tea leaving Derbyshire to score at more than nine an over to pull off what would have been an astonishing victory and the players shook hands with 23 overs still to bowl.