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James Taylor’s first century of the season put Nottinghamshire in sight of victory on the third day of their LV= County Championship Division One match against Derbyshire.
The 23-year-old batted six hours for 112 out of 443 which gave Notts a first-innings lead of 187 and, by the close, Derbyshire were facing a second defeat of the season having been reduced to 143 for five, still 44 runs behind.
England fast bowler Stuart Broad survived three dropped catches in five balls to score a breezy 41, which included two sixes, but Luke Fletcher took the prized wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for 57.
Taylor’s 14th first-class hundred – his second in the championship for Nottinghamshire – was low on entertainment but high on application and ensured his team built a commanding lead after skipper Chris Read had gone in the seventh over of the morning chasing a wide ball from Tim Groenewald.
At that stage, the visitors were only 76 ahead but Taylor displayed impressive powers of concentration to secure one end while Broad went for his shots at the other.
He pulled Jonathan Clare over deep square-leg for six and then drove the next ball past mid-off for four but gave his first chance on 26 when Groenewald could not hold on to a low chance at mid-off.
Broad enjoyed another escape in the next over as he pulled Clare to long-leg where substitute Greg Cork dropped the ball over the ropes and was put down again when David Wainwright was guilty of shelling a straightforward catch at deep cover.
His luck eventually ran out; a top-edge off Clare found Groenewald at long-leg before Andre Adams, who will now miss five weeks with a torn calf, steered his first ball to slip.
Taylor had batted through the morning without scoring a boundary but glanced the second ball after lunch for four and then edged Groenewald between second and third slip to reach his century – which took 346 minutes and contained only six fours.
It was the slowest of his career but had given Nottinghamshire control of the game; Taylor hit one more four before he skied Wainwright to mid-off.
With Adams unable to bowl, Nottinghamshire still had a lot to do on a pitch which had become increasingly easy to bat on but they started well with Fletcher trapping Billy Godleman lbw in the fourth over.
When Harry Gurney pinned Wes Durston in front with the total on 24, Derbyshire were in danger of folding but Chanderpaul and skipper Wayne Madsen dug in for 29 overs before Fletcher got one to lift to have the former caught behind.
Madsen’s three-hour resistance was ended when Gurney cut one back and Ross Whiteley edged Samit Patel low to first slip to leave Derbyshire in a seemingly hopeless position.
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