Derbyshire v Leicestershire finally gets underway after two days of rain
Paul Horton and Colin Ackermann hit brisk half-centuries for Leicestershire after play finally got underway in their Specsavers County Championship match against Derbyshire at the Fischer County Ground.
After two days when constant heavy rain rendered the Grace Road outfield unplayable, improved conditions and much hard work on the part of the groundstaff, enabled the game to start shortly after lunch, with Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman exercising the away team’s prerogative to bowl first.
The pitch looked a good one, however, and despite having been under covers for such a long period, offered the Derbyshire seamers little assistance. Nor was there much swing to be had in the cold conditions, and Horton and fellow opener Michael Carberry took full toll of some wayward bowling.
Carberry hit three fours and a six in one Ravi Rampaul over, and looked set for his first half-century for Leicestershire when he edged an attempted drive at a Luis Reece delivery straight to Wayne Madsen at first slip.
Horton made no mistake however, going to his 50 off 69 balls as Leicestershire continued to score at close to five runs an over, before being dismissed in the same manner as Carberry, edging a offside drive at Reece to Madsen at first slip.
Mark Cosgrove handed Reece his third wicket, clipping the left-arm seamer straight to Ben Slater at midwicket, but Ackermann picked up where he left off in scoring 186 against Sussex last week, hitting six fours and a six in going to 50 off just 67 balls before going back to a Matt Critchley leg-spinner which hurried on and hit the top of his off stump.
Lewis Hill came and went quickly, edging a lovely out-swinger from Will Davis to wicket-keeper Gary Wilson, but having passed 250 and picked up a second batting bonus point, Ned Eckersley and Neil Dexter allowed the scoring rate to fall markedly – a decision they may regret if, as the weather forecast suggests could be the case, rain prevents any further play in the match.