sport

O'Brien leads hosts' fightback

Niall O'Brien starred as Leicestershire produced a spirited fightback in their LV= County Championship Division Two match against Derbyshire.

Leicestershire found themselves 11 for three in just the third over but two century partnerships helped them to steady the ship and they eventually posted a respectable 311 all out.

Mark Footitt recorded figures of six for 65 for the visitors before Derbyshire reached 12 without loss in reply.

The home side got off to the worst possible start after winning the toss, with Angus Robson departing to the first ball of the day, his third golden duck of the campaign, as Marcus North took a catch off Footitt at gully.

Tony Palladino trapped Greg Smith lbw for four in the next over and when Footitt claimed his second wicket of the day with Ramnaresh Sarwan (five) finding Paul Borrington at short leg, Leicestershire were in trouble.

Josh Cobb and Ned Eckersley then put on 100 for the fourth wicket as the hosts rebuilt either side of lunch.

Cobb brought up his 50 with a four off Footitt but was gone two balls later, Scott Elstone taking the catch at point.

Eckersley (44) was soon trapped lbw by Palladino to leave Leicestershire 113 for five but Rob Taylor added 40 before Palladino had his third, Alex Hughes claiming a catch at cover.

That brought Ben Raine to the crease and together he and O'Brien added 118 to bring some respectability to the scorecard.

O'Brien brought up his 50 off 65 balls before tea and Raine joined him after the interval, taking 112 balls to reach the mark.

Derbyshire took the new ball and the result was almost instantaneous with North and Foottit combining again to remove O'Brien when the Irishman holed out to third man.

There was not much wag in the Leicestershire tail and James Sykes went without troubling the scorers before Raine (55) and Alex Wyatt (six) soon followed.

Tom Taylor recorded figures of nought for 50 from his 13 overs after being drafted in on debut to replace Tim Groenwald who announced earlier on Sunday he would be leaving the county.

Stephen Moore (10 not out) and Borrington (two not out) then saw the visitors through to the close unscathed.

This match had originally been scheduled to be the season opener for both clubs but was postponed due to the tragic death of Keith Poynton, father of Derbyshire wicketkeeper Tom, in a car accident on April 4.