|LV= County Championship Division Two, Incora County Ground, Derby (day three)|
|Leicestershire 249 & 131-2: Evans 59*|
|Derbyshire 568-9 dec: Godleman 158, Reece 118, Madsen 92|
|Leicestershire (1 pt) trail Derbyshire (6 pts) by 188 runs|
Sam Evans held up Derbyshire’s victory charge on the third day of the County Championship match against Leicestershire at Derby.
The opener stood firm to give his side a chance of saving the game after Derbyshire declared on 568-9, their highest score against Leicestershire, and a lead of 319.
It was the fifth time this season Derbyshire have scored 500 or more in a first-class innings, a club record, with Wayne Madsen’s 92 making him the leading run-scorer in the Championship so far on 1,273.
Leicestershire’s promising teenage leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed finished with 5-114 from 28.2 overs in his third first-class match and Evans provided the visitors with more encouragement with an unbeaten 59 out of 131-2 when bad light ended play.
There was ice on the outfield early in the morning but the game started in glorious early autumn sunshine although the prospects for Leicestershire were less bright.
Derbyshire already had a lead of 107 with eight wickets intact although they quickly lost Billy Godleman who edged a drive at Roman Walker without adding to his overnight 158.
Madsen and Leus du Plooy accelerated against some indifferent bowling with the exception of Ahmed who induced a few false strokes and exerted a measure of control.
The 18-year-old removed Du Plooy who drove back a return catch but Derbyshire’s lead had increased to 219 by lunch with Madsen eying yet another century.
He was eight short when he tried to cut the 147th ball he faced and was caught behind off Walker but, if he does not bat again this season, he has scored 1,800 runs in all formats.
Ahmed bagged two more wickets as the lower order hit out ahead of the declaration with Ben Aitchison caught at long off and Nick Potts bowled charging the leg-spinner after Chris Wright uprooted Alex Thomson’s middle stump with a swinging yorker.
Faced with scoring 319 runs to make Derbyshire bat again, Leicestershire’s first task was to negotiate 10 overs before tea which they managed, assisted by bowling that was too short.
Derbyshire’s attack adjusted their lines after the interval and made the first breakthrough in the second over of the evening session when Sol Budinger tried to pull Anuj Dal and got a steep top edge to mid on.
It was hardly the shot the situation demanded but Evans and Louis Kimber displayed better judgement to add another 54 runs in 14 overs before another rash stroke ended the stand.
The introduction of Luis Reece’s medium pace from the City End tempted Kimber into a pull at his third ball and Sam Conners took the catch just inside the rope at deep mid-wicket.
But Evans and Lewis Hill dug in for 11 overs to leave Derbyshire with work to do on the final day.
Report supplied by the ECB Reporters’ Network.