Matt Critchley took 4-107, but Northamptonshire edged proceedings on a high-scoring opening day at Queen’s Park.
The leg spinner made three middle-order breakthroughs and claimed the late wicket of Matt Coles, but a fine 134 from Temba Bavuma took his side to 342, with Derbyshire 34-1 at the close.
The BRM Solicitors Chesterfield Festival of Cricket, in association with Chesterfield Borough Council, got underway with a repeat of last year’s Specsavers County Championship encounter and a chance for Derbyshire to claim back-to-back wins.
After losing the toss and bowling first, Billy Godleman’s side enjoyed the better of the opening session, taking three wickets for just 66 runs as the likes of Luis Reece (2-50) and Tony Palladino (0-33) kept it tight.
Openers Rob Newton and the in-form Ricardo Vasconcelos could only make 11 and 30 respectively as pressure from Reece and Ravi Rampaul forced the breakthrough.
At two down, Bavuma came to the middle and began to turn the visitors’ fortunes with a measured innings which saw him play his way in, attack the spin and compile his second successive century.
A series of quick-scoring cameos followed as the middle-order batted around the diminutive South Africa batsman. Rob Keogh made 28, before captain Adam Rossington powered his way to 38, eventually caught and bowled by Critchley after striking at more than a run a ball.
Josh Cobb (30) batted in a similar fashion and once he was out after tea, Bavuma set about surpassing 300 alongside Saif Zaib.
He fell one run short of achieving the third batting bonus point while at the crease, out for a well-made 134, lbw to a quicker delivery from Critchley as the leg spinner picked up his third.
But Northamptonshire were in control with 20 overs left in the day, and although Zaib (31) became the fourth batsman out in the thirties, the tail showed aggression and soon closed in on 350.
Coles crashed 26 off just nine balls, including two sixes, in a 31-run ninth-wicket stand with fellow seamer, Brett Hutton (10). However, they were denied a fourth batting point as two quick wickets, one apiece for Critchley and Hamidullah Qadri, saw Northamptonshire all out for 342.
With a tricky hour to begin their reply, Derbyshire lost Reece in the second over, bowled by Hutton from the Lake End.
It was left to the experienced pairing of Godleman (7 not out) and Wayne Madsen (22 not out) to see out the remaining overs, with Derbyshire closing on 34-1, trailing by 308.
The BRM Solicitors Chesterfield Festival of Cricket! We’re back at Queen’s Park for five days of festival cricket. Tickets on the gate, or online at derbyshireccc.com.