Derbyshire’s latest visit to Queen’s Park, Chesterfield was an unhappy one as they slid to a 72-run defeat against Northamptonshire on Tuesday.
Billy Godleman’s boys began the third day of the Specsavers County Championship, Second Division fixture needing 164 runs to clinch victory, and they had five wickets in hand.
But instead, they slipped to 264 all out, with Luke Procter taking four wickets for the visitors, and they remain fifth in the ten-team table.
Derbyshire had done remarkably well to even get back into contention after trailing by no fewer than 196 runs following the first innings.
Despite four wickets for Matt Critchley, they watched Northants amass a total of 342, which included 134 from 29-year-old South African Temba Bavuma.
In response, Derbyshire were rolled over for just 146 as Ben Sanderson took 5-46 in 19 overs. They were 60-6 at one stage until a brave knock of 55no by all-rounder Fynn Hudson-Prentice.
The hosts began their fightback when dismissing Northants for 122 in their second innings. There were two more wickets, plus a run out, for Hudson-Prentice (2-30), plus returns of 4-33 in 12 overs from Tony Palladino and 2-24 from Hamidullah Qadri.
It left Derbyshire needing 319 for victory, and plenty of time to get the runs. They started steadily in the hands of openers Luis Reece (33) and Godleman (25), and after 27 from Wayne Madsen, they were handily poised on 85-1.
The tide began to turn, however, when both the fourth and fifth wickets fell to Procter on 134.
Tom Lace remained to open the challenge on day three, but the writing was on the wall when he was caught by Bavuma off Brett Hutton for 41.
Hudson-Prentice impressed again with 26no, Harvey Hosein made 22 and Critchley 19. But defeat was sealed when Ravi Rampaul (20) pulled Sanderson to deep square-leg.