Derbyshire fought back to restrict Leicestershire to 297, but three late wickets halted their progress and left the visitors in control heading into Day Three.
Led by Tony Palladino (4-64), Derbyshire took seven wickets for 105 runs after Paul Horton’s men were 168-1 to hamper Leicestershire’s lead to 52 runs.
However, batting under lights, Derbyshire lost three wickets for 43 runs to the skillful Mohammad Abbas and all-rounder Ben Raine to close with a deficit of nine runs.
Palladino struck in the opening hour to remove the dangerous Colin Ackermann lbw for 32, but it remained Leicestershire’s morning in the bright sunshine at The 3aaa County Ground.
Sam Evans, concussion replacement for fellow opening batsman Harry Dearden who was struck on the head on Day One, settled alongside Horton and resumed Leicestershire’s progress in the first session of the day.
Horton (88) and Evans (29) both fell after the interval, however their 63-run stand in 28.1 overs had put Leicestershire in a good position.
Tall South Africa quick Hardus Viljoen struck twice in as many balls, Horton and Dexter both lbw, to swing the momentum back towards Derbyshire.
The hosts took the new ball in an effort to wrap the innings up and with heightened movement, Ravi Rampaul had Lewis Hill caught by the diving Matt Critchley for 20 – Leicestershire 225-6, trailing by 20.
Duanne Olivier, fierce with pace and bounce from the Racecourse End, claimed the vital wicket of Mark Cosgrove (35) just before tea and following a useful cameo from Matt Parkinson (34), Leicestershire were all out for 297, carrying a lead of 52 runs at the halfway stage in the match.
With 19 overs left to face in the day, Derbyshire were soon three wickets down, Harvey Hosein (4) and Ben Slater (7) out the the skiddy and tricky fast-medium pace of Abbas, and Wayne Madsen bowled by Ben Raine for 2.
Alex Hughes (15 not out) and Billy Godleman (6 not out) successfully negotiated the remaining 9.1 overs to close on 43-3, Derbyshire trailing by nine runs heading into the third day at The 3aaa County Ground.
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