Northants wrap up win
Promotion beckons after sixth championship victory
Last Updated: 20/08/11 1:13pm
Lucas: finished with figures of 4-75
Northamptonshire kept their promotion push on course with a 165-run victory over Derbyshire in their Division Two clash at Chesterfield.
Starting day four on 289-8 and needing a further 205 for victory, the hosts continued to show fight despite the almost impossible task facing them.
Jon Clare and Tony Palladino took advantage of good batting conditions and an attacking field to frustrate Norhamptonshire and take the home side past the 300 mark.
The pair added 57 in 15 overs before Palladino was bowled for 28 attempting to drive David Lucas, but last-man Mark Footitt survived long enough to see Clare to his half-century.
Clare however did not improve on his 50, which came from 78 balls and included nine fours, before spinner James Middlebrook brought proceedings to an end when Footitt pulled him to Kyle Coetzer at deep mid-wicket.
Lucas was the pick of the bowlers, ending the innings with 4-75 in one of his last games for the county before he heads to Worcestershire next season.
Northamptonshire's promotion charge continued to gather momentum at Chesterfield as their bowlers left Derbyshire on the brink of defeat.
The home side were 289-8 at the close of day three after being set a stiff target of 494, Northamptonshire having declared earlier on 416-9.
They had resumed in the morning on 285-6, already 362 runs in front, and James Middlebrook's third LV= County Championship century of the season put them in complete control.
The all-rounder finished up on 101 not out, sharing a 102-run stand with Hall (44) for the seventh wicket and then putting on a further 78 with Chaminda Vaas, who made a breezy 37 that included six boundaries.
Martin Guptill (46) and Dan Redfearn, who hit 58 from just 59 deliveries, did their best in Derbyshire's run chase but an away win looks a certainty, barring any issues with the weather on Saturday.
David Lucas claimed three wickets and there were two apiece for skipper Hall and Middlebrook, although the visitors were unable to close out the victory after claiming the extra half-hour.
Chaminda Vaas took five wickets as Northamptonshire gained the upper hand on the second day of their clash with Derbyshire at Chesterfield.
The Sri Lankan bowler returned figures of 5-65 - his sixth five-wicket haul of the season - as Derbyshire were dismissed for just 190.
Alex Wakely then added to his first-innings half-century by scoring 83 to help Northamptonshire finish the day on 285-6, a lead of 362.
The match had been finely poised at the start of play as Derbyshire resumed on 116-4, but Northants struck three times in the first seven overs to turn the contest in their favour.
Vaas bowled Dan Redfern (21) and Ross Whiteley (nought) on his way to five wickets, while Lee Daggett, who took a brilliant diving return catch to remove nightwatchman Tony Palladino (16), took 3-64.
And Wakely then rammed home the advantage during the visitors' second-innings, with David Sales also chipping in with 63 during a sixth-wicket stand of 122 as Northants look to set their opponents a huge target.
Mark Footitt claimed a five-wicket haul on his first LV= County Championship appearance of the season as Derbyshire and Northamptonshire shared the honours on day one at Chesterfield.
Pace bowler Footitt took 5-53 as the visitors were dismissed for 267, but Derbyshire then hit trouble during their first innings and were reduced to 116-4 by the close.
Footitt, drafted in as a replacement for injured Mark Turner, grabbed his chance to impress as he helped skittle the Northamptonshire top and middle order after the hosts had elected to bowl.
Tim Groenewald also took 3-63 as the home bowlers dominated the action, with the exception of a crucial fifth-wicket stand of 116 between Alex Wakely (88) and skipper Andrew Hall (45).
Derbyshire could not fully capitalise when they came out to bat, however, as Chesney Hughes (14), Greg Smith (10) and Wes Durston (18) all fell relatively cheaply.
Opener Martin Guptill shone while the wickets fell around him, but he was eventually dismissed by David Lucas for 55 to leave the match finely poised heading into the second day.