Derbyshire’s Sam Conners has now taken 40 Championship wickets this season
|LV= County Championship Division Two, The Incora County Ground, Derby (day two):|
|Derbyshire 306: Du Plooy 82, Came 78; Rushworth 3-60, Raine 3-61|
|Durham 222-9: Jones 87; Conners 3-54|
|Durham (4 pts) trail Derbyshire (6 pts) by 84 with one wicket standing|
Derbyshire’s pace attack put the promotion hopefuls in a strong position on the second day of their home County Championship match against Durham.
England Lions fast bowler Sam Conners took 3-54 and Ben Aitchison 2-49 to reduce Durham to 222-9 at the close, with only opener Michael Jones offering any prolonged resistance with 87.
All rounder Anuj Dal claimed 2-18 in 10 overs as Durham lost five wickets for 26 in the final session to trail by 84.
Durham could also face a possible points deduction after Nic Maddinson’s bat was judged to be too big.
Umpire Hassan Adnan tested the bat with his measurement gauge shortly after the Australian came to the middle but it would not go through and was taken away by match referee Mike Smith.
The bat will be re-examined after the close of play and if it fails again it will be sent to the ECB who will make a judgement.
Derbyshire were docked two points after Mattie McKiernan’s bat failed a measurement test in a One-Day Cup game last month.
Maddinson was one of three Durham batters who fell to poor shots after the visitors came through the morning session unscathed.
Conditions looked good for bowling under grey clouds with the floodlights on but the Derbyshire attack, with the exception of Aitchison, served up too many loose deliveries.
Jones’s first seven scoring shots were boundaries but Sean Dickson was reprieved on eight when he edged Aitchison low to third slip where Leus du Plooy failed to cling on.
Derbyshire regrouped during the lunch break, which was extended by 45 minutes because of rain, and took four wickets in the afternoon session.
Dickson was the first to go, caught behind off Aitchison carving at the first ball he faced after the restart, and Scott Borthwick also fell to a casual shot when he tried to turn the fast bowler off his legs and got a top edge to square leg.
The bowlers’ improved line was rewarded again when the pressure got to Maddinson, who went for a big drive at Dal and was caught at point.
Jones had played responsibly but in the penultimate over before tea, he tried to drive Nick Potts and lost his off stump.
Durham trailed by 164 at the interval but Jonathan Bushnell and Liam Trevaskis frustrated Derbyshire for 19 overs before Conners returned to shift the momentum again.
He found enough away movement to have Bushnell caught behind before Trevaskis, badly missed on 21 at third slip, edged to second five overs later where Wayne Madsen knocked the ball up for keeper Brooke Guest to complete the catch.
Paul Coughlin was run out by a direct hit from Potts as he went for a sharp single to midwicket and Tom Mackintosh drove a wide ball from Dal to point.
Conners had Ben Raine caught behind before bad light ended play with Derbyshire well placed to push for victory.
Report supplied by the ECB Reporters’ Network.