244 runs ahead with a day to go. So what do we do tomorrow?
A thrilling opening stand by Chris Rogers and Wayne Madsen of 181 at six an over gave Derbyshire a chance of a mid/late morning declaration tomorrow. Madsen just missed out on a second century in the match, while the skipper is still there, unbeaten on 75.
My guess is that we'll either thrash (or be given through joke bowling) another hundred tomorrow and leave Middlesex 350 in around 75/80 overs. Maybe even as I type Shaun Udal and Chris Rogers are having a friendly chat about what they will go for and above anything we need to allow time to bowl them out. 85 overs would be handy but would need some serious hitting.
We need to risk losing in order to win, dangle a carrot and hope that we can take wickets at regular intervals. Pray for cloud cover, a crumbling track (some hope!), maybe even a 24 hour bug to affect the Middlesex batsmen...
Sorry, went too far with the last one, but we need to figure out a way to dismiss Nick Compton, who is developing a penchant for Derbyshire bowling of late. With the exception of Compton and "Ice" Berg, there weren't many contributions from their batsmen, with the prolific Dexter going cheaply to Greg Smith. Four more wickets for Steffan and a huge day for the guys tomorrow.
Last chance saloon really. If we don't win, a draw doesn't matter. It would need a strange combination of scores for us to leapfrog Northamptonshire in the last game. As things stand, with Northants looking like drawing their game, a draw here would leave us eleven points behind them in the table with a game to go.
We'd then need to take maximum points - i.e. score 400, take nine wickets, then win - from our game against Essex while Northants didn't do the same against Leicestershire. IF (sorry, can't make that IF any bigger)they dropped a couple of bonus points, then we could theoretically pip them by one point.
Too tight for me and its making my brain hurt. Let's hope for a day to remember tomorrow, which will make things much clearer. If it doesn't go our way there's always next year when we'll win it.
Just one thing, please. If we don't do it tomorrow, no nonsense on 606 about "choking" or "not turning up". The guys will be going flat out and giving their all.
Let's just hope it is enough.