Three Derbyshire batsmen reached half-centuries as Billy Godleman’s side set Durham 361 runs to win on an entertaining Day Three at The Pattonair County Ground.
Harvey Hosein (62) top-scored for the second time in the match, while Tom Lace (61) hit a maiden first-class half-century and Matt Critchley (51) was at his fluent best as Derbyshire posted 334 in their second innings.
The Durham batsmen survived the handful of overs remaining in the day to give them hope, closing on 10-0, needing another 351 in their chase.
Resuming on 107-3, Lace and Alex Hughes (39) were watchful in the opening hour and steadily accumulated runs as Lace reached his maiden half-century off 100 balls, with six fours.
Their 66-run stand was ended with the lead 175, as Lace flashed at a wide delivery from Gareth Harte and was caught at second slip.
The hosts went to lunch with a lead of 224, and despite losing Hughes shortly after the interval, Hosein and Critchley soon had themselves well set to extend Derbyshire’s advantage.
Their 50-run partnership came in the 89th over, with both passing 50 in a fluent stand which regularly saw flicks through mid-wicket and drives down the ground.
Critchley fell to Rushworth the over after reaching his half-century, an in-swinging delivery striking his planted right leg for lbw, but by then the lead had crept towards 300.
Hosein was out to the slow left-arm spin of Liam Trevaskis, caught at slip, while Anuj Dal (6) was also caught in the cordon, this time off James Weighell shortly after tea.
The loss of Dal and Tony Palladino (5) brought Ravi Rampaul to the crease and the West Indies quick scored 24 of the 26 runs for the last wicket – his highest score for Derbyshire, including two fours and two sixes.
Rampaul was eventually out to Matt Salisbury, the opening bowling claiming his third wicket, and Derbyshire were dismissed for 334, setting Durham 361 runs to win.
The visiting captain, Alex Lees, and Harte were defensive in the face of good opening bowling to steer their side to 10 without loss at the close, setting up a final day with all results still possible.
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