Leicestershire 380 (Eckersley 117, Parkinson 4-90)
Derbyshire 199-6 (Madsen 76, Alex Hughes 40 not)
Derbyshire trail by 181 runs
Well, last night I did warn you that we'd need all of a lengthy batting line-up to cope with a keen home attack and so it transpired today.
After Callum Parkinson took a fourth wicket to finish with an impressive 4-90 on debut, the Derbyshire batting got starts but, apart from two players, rather gave it away.
One of those two players somewhat unsurprisingly, was Wayne Madsen, whose innings ended when he was 64 runs short of the thousand-mark for the summer in four-day cricket. Counties crave a batsman who nigh guarantees a thousand a summer from overseas. That we have one on our own doorstep is something we should cherish for as long as it lasts. There is no doubt that Madsen bestrides Derbyshire cricket like a colossus and I wouldn't like to think where we would be without him.
The other was Alex Hughes. Regulars will know that I rate Alex, an intelligent cricketer who will always battle and rarely gives it away. Whether his bowling develops into anything more than useful one-day stuff is a moot point, though that would be enough for most. His batting has been under-utilised this summer and, whatever happens over the winter on the coaching and playing front, I hope that we can find a means of better utilising his talents another year.
Late in the day he earned good support from Alex Mellor. The young keeper had done very well behind the stumps and, having seen it today, his catch off Parkinson was quite special. The ball turned and lifted and the keeper held an exceptional catch, standing up, from a good nick. He can be proud of his efforts so far and I hope he continues to bat well into tomorrow.
There's much for Derbyshire to do. We first need to avert the follow on and then reduce the deficit still further. While we succeeded in bowling a side out for under 400, few will be convinced that at this stage we can escape with anything worthwhile in this game.