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Leicestershire v Derbyshire: day 3 report

Article written by on April 29th, 2011
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92 from James Taylor in front of England National Selector Geoff Miller helped Leicestershire take a first innings lead of 202 on the third day of their match with Derbyshire at Grace Road.

The visitors faced a tricky eight over spell before the close of play, and closed at 17-0, trailing by 185.  The Foxes will need to bowl them out sooner rather than later otherwise this match is headed towards a draw.

The 21-year-old Taylor, who has impressed after scoring 1000 first-class runs in each of the last two seasons, spent the winter with the England Lions playing in the domestic Caribbean competition where he averaged nearly 60 with the bat.

Whilst this was his first County Championship 50 of the year, he scored a mammoth 237 against the Loughborough University students last week, and had an unbeaten 81against Scotland in the CB40 on Monday. This has led to him attracting the eyes of the England selectors who have been watching him with great interest over the last couple of years, and they will have been impressed with this 148 ball knock that included 13 boundaries.

Leicestershire resumed overnight on 201-2, and after Taylor and Will Jefferson safely negotiated the first 11 overs of the morning, Derbyshire took the new ball at 80 overs, and that paid off almost right away.

Jefferson was finally out for 133, clean bowled by Jonathan Clare, as the ball nipped back and went through the gate, ending a 253-ball innings that included 16 fours and one six.

Taylor celebrated his 50th first-class match by passing the 50 run mark in the morning session, and the Foxes reached lunch at 295-3, just eight runs behind.

They stepped on the accelerator after the break, in a bid to achieve the fourth batting point for 350 before the bonus point cut-off at 110 overs. Taylor hit the first two balls after the interval for four, and in the following over, du Toit lofted a six off Azeem Rafiq.

But in the pursuit of quick runs, risks had to be taken, and that led to the wicket of du Toit, who nicked Mark Turner to Usman Khawaja at slip.

Wayne White then came in and got off the mark with one of the rarest occurrences in cricket-an all run five. A cut to the vacant third man area seemed to be heading to the boundary, but the ball pulled up short, and with Tim Groenewald labouring in the chase, White and Taylor scurried back for five.

However, with the hard work done and only 11 needed to reach 350, Taylor chased a wide one and like du Toit, edged Turner to Khawaja to end his innings just eight runs short of his ninth first-class century.

After that wicket the Foxes shut up shop for a while, and ended up five short of the extra batting point after 110 overs.

But White continued with Jigar Naik, and the pair looked untroubled during the rest of the afternoon as Leicestershire piled on a solid lead.

They both passed 50 in the evening, and upped the run-rate with the field set back as the Foxes looked towards a declaration.

The batsmen were finally called in as the lead went past 200, to give the bowlers eight overs at the Derbyshire batsmen before the close. White finished unbeaten on 83 off 146 balls, while Naik ended on 77 off 153.

Leicestershire would be missing wicketkeeper Tom New, however, after he broke a toe in a morning warm-up game of football. He was replaced by formet Kent gloveman Paul Dixey, who is currently on trial with the club.

Both seam and spin were tried late on but to no success.

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