County Championship: Somerset hoping to complete fightback against Derbyshire
Somerset are still on track for a remarkable comeback against fellow Division One strugglers Derbyshire at Taunton
Last Updated: 06/09/13 2:31pm
The visitors closed the third day of a compelling game on 127 for four, needing a further 117 to win on a pitch offering considerable turn and lift. Ben Slater hit 59, while Chawla and Leach claimed two wickets each.
Earlier, Somerset had added 207 to their overnight second-innings score of 231 for four, setting a victory target of 244. Nick Compton fell five short a hundred, while Lewis Gregory hit a maiden half-century and Craig Meschede contributed 33 before being run out.
Tony Palladino and David Wainwright finished with three wickets each, but Derbyshire had let a position of dominance disappear and faced a tough task.
They looked to be behind the eight ball when young left-arm spinner Leach struck twice to reduce them to 53 for two.
But Somerset's cricket then fell apart with some sloppy ground fielding and a series of extraordinary lapses by wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter, who found the turn and lift extracted by Leach and Chawla too much for him.
Bizarre field changes
The 25-year-old, who boasts 46 one-day international and 25 T20 appearances for England, conceded 22 byes - making 40 in the match - forcing skipper Marcus Trescothick into some bizarre field changes.
Slater was in the mood and form to capitalise, hitting 10 fours in his 117-ball innings before falling to a sharp catch by Alex Barrow at short leg with the total on 117.
Nightwatchman Palladino then departed to a slip catch by Trescothick off Chawla in the closing over of the day and the teams left the field facing the prospect of a tense finish tomorrow.
If the visitors need a rock around which to build the rest of their innings he is there in the shape of Shivnarine Chanderpaul (20 not out), whose now occasional leg-breaks brought him two for 32 in Somerset's second innings.
The West Indian's vast experience and know-how with the bat could well prove even more important tomorrow in what looks likely to be a tense conclusion.
Compton showed what can be achieved on such a pitch with good technique and application. Unbeaten on 64 overnight, he batted for four hours and 19 minutes in all, hitting just eight fours while facing 205 balls.
It was a memorable day for Gregory (52), who eclipsed his previous best first-class score of 48, made against Warwickshire in 2011. He shared a last wicket stand of 39 with Leach, which could yet prove crucial. Gregory's five-over new-ball spell did not yield a single run to Derbyshire.