Gloucestershire 275 all out (Roderick 76, Footitt 3-72)
Gloucestershire lead by 251 runs
On early season wickets, most captains winning the toss will think about batting, look at overhead conditions and probably decide to bowl. When the sun is high and the wickets are less green, batting becomes a more favoured option, but today was one where Wayne Madsen decided his bowlers offered the best chance of gaining the ascendancy in the match.
That being the case, it was imperative that we bowled out our hosts today and for a long time that looked unlikely. Gloucestershire batted confidently in the morning and went to tea at 227-4, looking well-set for around the 350 mark, at the very least.
I'm not sure what was said at the tea interval, but Derbyshire came out with vigour renewed. In old days, that might have been the result of a couple of pints, the favoured pick-me-up of Bill Bestwick, or even a couple of shots of 'fizz' as preferred by those of an earlier vintage.
Madsen's men regrouped in a more conventional fashion, bowled far more tightly and took the last six wickets for just 48 runs, the last four for just ten runs. It helps when one has the Footitt howitzer in the armoury, his pace too much with the new ball for Noema-Barnett and Norwell, but there was greater discipline post-tea than seemed to be the case before it.
There were two more wickets for Alex Hughes, whose propensity for taking needed wickets was commented on last week. He snaffled the dangerous Hamish Marshall, as well as fellow-Kiwi Fuller, both leg before wicket, in another admirable spell which evidenced why a fifth seamer, perhaps bowling in a more 'skiddy' style, can often bring dividends.
Special mention tonight for Tony Palladino, whose near 21 overs went for only 41 runs and saw him take two wickets. It was the kind of economy that I like to see and showed how important he is to the side.
There was no last-wicket century stand this week, so we were left with a tricky six-over spell to face before the close. This was handled with a degree of panache by Slater and Godleman, who scored a breezy 24 runs in that time.
By the end it amounted to a pretty good day for Derbyshire. We now need to show similar concentration with the bat and maybe, just maybe, we could be in a healthy position by this time tomorrow.
Good effort though, lads.