Derbyshire fought back on Day Two of the Second XI Friendly away to Essex to set the hosts a challenging 326 runs to win after 21 wickets had fallen on the opening day.
Captain Daryn Smit hit an unbeaten 137, while Fynn Hudson-Prentice and Connor Marshall both scored over 70 to take Derbyshire to 433 all out in their second innings – a remarkable turnaround after being dismissed for just 55 on Day One.
Dustin Melton picked up a late Essex wicket to leave the hosts on 66-1 overnight, still requiring a further 260 runs to win.
Resuming on 41-1, Derbyshire rebuilt through Dinnie (40) and Tom Wood (41), before slipping to 150-5 with only a slender lead.
At this point Hudson-Prentice steadied the innings and set about compiling his 100-ball knock which would allow Derbyshire to at least pose a tricky chase for the hosts.
Once Savin Perera fell for 11, Smit joined the all-rounder and the pair added a further 37 as Derbyshire’s resistance continued to frustrate the Essex bowlers.
Medium-pace bowler Shane Snater was the pick as he claimed 6-91 from his 21 overs, but Smit scored around the wicket for his unbeaten century, striking 23 fours and 1 six en route to 137 not out.
Marshall provided a great foil at the other end, with 13 fours in his 55-ball 71 as Derbyshire powered past 350.
Eventually all out for 433, 378 runs more than their first innings total, Smit’s side set Essex 326 runs to win, forcing what had seemed an unlikely third day.
Melton removed Adeel Shafique for 25, but the experienced Nick Browne remains unbeaten on 34 as the hosts closed on 66-1, requiring a further 260 in their chase.
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