There's a fascinating day lined up at Chesterfield tomorrow, with any of three results possible, exactly what you want going into the final day of a four-day match.
Derbyshire did well today, both in the field and with the bat. I said after the first day that there would be little between the two sides after the first innings, and my assertion was bang on the money, with the visitors getting a slender two-run advantage.
Tony Palladino (pictured) bowled superbly throughout the innings and 4-65 from 33 overs is outstanding by any standards. He was well supported by Tom Taylor, with the first three-wicket haul of his professional career and the bowlers did all that we had hoped in the first session of the day.
Losing Paul Borrington early wasn't part of the script, but Wayne Madsen played his second important innings of the game and Ben Slater lent excellent support in compiling the latest fifty of his professional career, before the partnership ended when the skipper slipped in going for a second run.
When Slater perished, quickly followed by Alex Hughes and the struggling - at least with the bat - Gareth Cross, we were in a bit of a pickle, especially with Wes Durston still hors de combat. But Shivnarine Chanderpaul played a key role with an unbeaten 62, ably supported by David Wainwright, as we finished the day 235 ahead. Wainwright has been our most consistent batsman in recent weeks and dug in well as Derbyshire got to a position where we control the game.
Tomorrow will be fascinating and there's a tight calculation to be made by Wayne Madsen and Graeme Welch. It is a 250-300 wicket but we will be wary of the potential of the Essex batting to make quick inroads into a target. My guess is that we will aim to set them around 320 in perhaps 70-75 overs - gettable, but with an element of risk if we bowl in the right areas and with the right discipline.
I hope we follow an encouraging day with another one tomorrow, as there have been positive signs from this match.
Hopefully it ends in a similar manner.