Nathan Buck’s 200th first class wicket helped Northamptonshire off to a great start on the first day of the Specsavers County Championship match away to Derbyshire. But a late fightback from the home bowlers meant that honours ended even in Chesterfield.
Buck reached the milestone when he bowled Alex Hughes, the first of three wickets he would take during the day. However by the time Buck struck Derbyshire were already well on the back foot thanks to three quick wickets from Ben Danderson.
Derbyshire’s decision to bat first looked questionable when Sanderson reduced them to 21 for 3 in the first five overs of a cloudy morning.
Sanderson struck with only the second ball by trapping Ben Slater on the crease before some late away movement removed Wayne Madsen’s off stump in his next over.
Billy Godleman was caught behind pushing at one that kept low and when Hughes played on to Buck, Northamptonshire would have fancied their chances of denying Derbyshire a single batting point.
But Harvey Hosein was composed from the start and with Matt Critchley added 58, but Northamptonshire broke through in the first over after lunch when Critchley was lbw playing across the line to Buck.
Hosein reached 50 with his sixth four but then chipped Sanderson to wide mid on where Alex Wakely plunged to his right to take an outstanding catch.
Another fine catch, by wicketkeeper Ricardo Vasconcelos, accounted for Hardus Viljoen to give Sanderson his fifth wicket and plunge Derbyshire back into trouble but Wilson and Wheeldon restored respectability with a ninth wicket stand of 52.
Having reduced Derbyshire to 260 all out, Northamptonshire set about their own innings steadily, Luke Proctor and Ben Duckett cruising along at five an over.
Any thoughts of finishing the day in complete control were ended with Tony Palladino struck twice in three balls to send Duckett and then Ricardo Vasconcelos back to the pavilion. Procter was also back in the sheds by the close of play to leave Alex Wakely and Nathan Buck in the middle with Northamptonshire on 74-3, 186 runs behind.