Tony Palladino and Will Davis have raised Derbyshire’s hopes of a first County Championship victory in 21 months on the final day of the Division Two match against Northamptonshire at Derby.
The pacemen have each taken two wickets as Northants slipped to 125 for 4 at tea, chasing 326 from 65 overs, with Rob Newton on 74.
Newton and Ben Duckett gave Northants a good start with a stand of 56 before Davis had the England batsman caught behind off a bottom edged pull before skipper Alex Wakely was lbw without scoring.
Newton and Rob Keogh swung the initiative back towards the visitors but two outstanding catches changed that when Palladino struck twice in consecutive overs.
Keogh was superbly taken by wicketkeeper Gary Wilson low to his right for 24 and then Daryn Smit held a stunning catch at second slip when the ball had almost passed him to remove Adam Rossington for 11.
Those wickets have made Derbyshire slight favourites going into the final session to win their first County Championship match since July 2015 when they beat Northants at Northampton.