Derbyshire dig in to sink county’s victory chances
TOM Lace scored his third championship century of the season to put another dent in Gloucestershire’s promotion hopes on the final day of the match against Derbyshire at Derby.
The on-loan Middlesex batsman reached his first hundred at Derby from 195 balls and with Leus du Plooy scoring an unbeaten 64, Derbyshire moved to 385-3 at lunch, a lead of 166.
It was another poor session for Gloucestershire who did not take a wicket and the game was heading for a draw.
After bowling Derbyshire out for 200 in their first innings, with Ryan Higgins taking five wickets, Gloucestershire piled up 419.
Centuries from Chris Dent and Higgins put them in a strong position as Dent scored 169, his fourth hundred of the season, and shared a Gloucestershire record sixth wicket stand against Derbyshire of 221 with Higgins who made 101.
But Derbyshire’s batsmen fought back strongly to frustrate Gloucestershire on the third day as Billy Godleman top scored with 86, Wayne Madsen made 69 and Lace ended the day on an unbeaten 69.
Gloucestershire had started holding all the cards but the bowlers lost line and length on a pitch which had flattened out.
On day three, Luis Reece polished off the Gloucestershire tail in the space of
four overs as he nipped one back to defeat Jack Taylor’s defensive push and knock out middle stump and after Josh Shaw played across the line, more late movement bowled Ben Allison first ball.
But with a 219-run lead Gloucestershire were unable to put Derbyshire under pressure.
Higgins and Payne could not reproduce the sustained discipline which had undermined Derbyshire on the first day and the ball was 20 overs old when Shaw broke through.
Reece missed an attempted pull and was lbw for 38 but another 106 runs were added before the next wicket fell as Godleman and Madsen ticked along at four an over.
Gloucestershire’s fielding became scruffy before Godleman edged a loose drive off Allison.
Madsen reached his 50 just before tea and with Lace, put Derbyshire in credit in the 65th over.
Ben Charlesworth conceded four fours in his first two overs and Miles Hammond became the seventh bowler used as Gloucestershire became increasingly desperate for a wicket.
When the breakthrough came, it was the result of a poor shot from Madsen who reached for a drive at Allison and spooned a catch to cover.
Gloucestershire should have had another but Tom Smith dropped Leus du Plooy on seven and he then he spilled the same player on 22 off Payne.