It was a mixed day for Mark Footitt who took three more wickets but had three catches dropped as Derbyshire bowled a weakened Surrey side out for 239 on the opening day of the LV County Championship Division Two match at Derby.
The England fast bowling prospect finished with 3-74 and has now taken 35 championship wickets so far although his figures would have been even better if Derbyshire’s catching had been sharper.
Footitt had South African batsman Dean Elgar and Gary Wilson, who top scored with 65, dropped in the slips while Gareth Batty was put down early in his innings.
Batty shared an 80 run stand with Wilson which saw Surrey recover from 155-6 and in reply, Derbyshire were 64-1 at the close with New Zealand batsman Hamish Rutherford unbeaten on 23.
Surrey were seriously depleted due to injuries and international call-ups but Arun Harinath and Zafar Ansari gave their side an encouraging start against some probing seam bowling from Footitt and Tony Palladino.
The openers did well to get through the first 75 minutes but Derbyshire’s decision to bowl first was vindicated when Surrey lost three wickets in six overs.
Harinath had scored two centuries in the previous game against Glamorgan and he was looking well set until he tried to cut Wayne White and was caught behind for 35.
Ansari was well taken by Wes Durston at first slip off Tom Taylor who brought one back to bowl Dominic Sibley for 10 and Surrey’s decline continued when Ben Foakes played across Footitt in the third over after lunch.
That should have been Footitt’s second victim because Elgar was dropped on 13 at second slip off the first ball after the interval and there was further frustration for the fast bowler as two more catches went down.
Durston’s introduction at the Racecourse End in place of Taylor, who pulled up with a calf injury, brought him the wickets of Elgar and James Burke and Surrey would have been in an even bigger hole if Footitt had been backed up by his fielders.
Wilson was missed at second slip on 29 and Batty was dropped on 13 at backward square leg which proved costly for Derbyshire as the seventh wicket pair added 80 in 22 overs.
Wilson and Batty both pulled Durston for six and Surrey’s recovery was gathering momentum until Footitt and White claimed the last four wickets in 21 balls.
Batty edged White low to Poynton, Tom Curran nicked a big drive at Footitt who unseated Tim Linley with a short ball after Wilson was pinned in front by White.
Derbyshire had 21 overs to negotiate and they lost Billy Godleman who was caught behind pushing at Luke Fletcher but Ben Slater and Rutherford batted well to leave skipper Wayne Madsen to reflect on a decent day for his team.
“We should have had them out for 40 or 50 less if we had taken our chances but we came back well in that last session, Footy (Footitt) and Chalky (White) bowled brilliantly to finish them off and the batters did a good job this evening to get us to 64-1 at the close so all in all I think we are in a good position.”
Wilson said: “It was a hard fought day, I thought they bowled pretty well, Mark Footitt in particular and it was difficult, especially when the lights came on. The ball swung quite a lot and there was some nip there as well so it was pleasing to get some runs.”