Place your bets folks...a tame old draw tomorrow, or a bold attempt at an albeit contrived result by virtue of an overnight declaration, a portion of cafeteria bowling and then a declaration setting Nottinghamshire somewhere between 300 and 350 to win?
My call would be that the weather forecast tomorrow will make any contrived finish a near impossibility. It suggests that time will be taken from the game again tomorrow, so it is hard to see how an appropriate calculation of runs v time can be reached. While both sides could really use the win, neither can afford the loss and it is hard to see how you can get a result, unless the skippers are both prepared to gamble. As we've learned from the toss this year, gambling isn't one of Wayne Madsen's strengths, but the win points are a tempting prize for a side that really needs more than draws.
Derbyshire did well to to get close to 400 today, thanks largely to a last wicket stand between Marks Footitt and Turner, further illustration of the battling qualities of this side. Afterwards Nottinghamshire batted steadily and Michael Lumb made a fine century, but from a Derbyshire perspective the main event was Tim Groenewald's 200th first-class wicket, a fine achievement. While less penetrative this year - and less obdurate with the bat, compared to last year - Groenewald is a good cricketer who always gives a hundred per cent and is fit to play more than most of his kind.
187 runs ahead then with a day to go and two innings left in the match after the current one. Should there be a positive result in this game, both skippers deserve the utmost credit for innovation and courage.
I don't see it though. Much as I would love to report on a Derbyshire win tomorrow, my head overrules my heart and says that a draw is the likely result. It shouldn't detract from a largely good performance though, from a side that is slowly but surely finding its feet at this level. yet still with much to do.
Postscript - Essex all out 20? How is a side with that many players struggling so badly. I suspect that Mr Grayson's tenure as coach may end this year and I shudder to think what the Forum would be like were Derbyshire to produce a display of that ilk.