Hants and Derbyshire frustrated by rain

SEAN ERVINE

SEAN ERVINE

First published in Sport

Derbyshire's promotion drive was brought to a halt when rain prevented any play after lunch on the second day of the LV= County Championship match against Hampshire at Derby.

Usman Khawaja's unbeaten 71 and nightwatchman Tony Palladino's 58 helped the home side score 117 in the morning session - but two wickets from Sean Ervine kept the visitors in the contest.

At lunch, Derbyshire were 167 for five, 105 runs behind, but the rain started to fall as the players came out after the interval and with no sign of an improvement in the weather, umpires Mark Benson and Stephen Gale called a halt shortly after 4pm.

With Yorkshire picking up bonus points at Chelmsford, Derbyshire lost the leadership of Division Two but at least they know that Kent, the only other team in the promotion race, have a lot to do against Glamorgan at Cardiff.

Derbyshire had been in an awkward position at the start of the day but Palladino again displayed his batting credentials by dominating the fourth wicket stand with Khawaja.

He scored a century in the match against Australia A in July and mixed aggression with sound defence to bat through the first 85 minutes of the morning to deny Hampshire the early success they would have anticipated.

The ball passed the outside edge several times but the bowling lacked accuracy and Palladino dealt with some short-pitched deliveries from James Tomlinson by pulling the seamer for two sixes in three balls.

Khawaja pulled David Griffiths for six but it was Palladino who got to his half-century first when he drove Chris Wood down the ground for his seventh four.

It was the seamer's third Championship fifty and Khawaja reached the milestone off 100 balls - but the stand was broken in the same over.

With the cloud cover beginning to build, Ervine bowled a good spell from the City End of the County Ground and he ended Palladino's admirable innings when a chipped drive lobbed to mid-on, where Tomlinson plunged forward to take the catch.

Ervine struck again when he removed Dan Redfern who never looked comfortable. The left-hander edged low to second slip and Liam Dawson held a fine catch to leave Derbyshire with some repair work to do on 147 for five.

Khawaja and Ross Whiteley scored another 20 runs from five overs but that was the last action of the day as the rain set in, forcing the umpires to abandon play at 4.10 pm with the game - and the promotion race - delicately poised.

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