Yorkshire had to settle for a draw at Headingley after a pulsating first half-hour’s play had seen table-topping Derbyshire follow-on 152 runs adrift on the final day of their LV=County Championship Second Division tussle.
Derbyshire then lost two quick wickets to Tim Bresnan to put Yorkshire on course for victory but Usman Khawaja led a spirited fightback in the last two sessions with a sparkling unbeaten 110 and the visitors reached 190 for five, 38 ahead, to bring about the stalemate.
The main consolation for Yorkshire, who had started out level on points with second-placed, Hampshire, was that they took 11 points from the game compared to their opponents’ six.
It was a thrill-a-minute stuff in the morning as Derbyshire resumed their first innings on 233 for eight and requiring a further 38 to avoid the follow-on. David Wainwright was on 45 but it was Tim Groenewald, still to get off the mark, who went on the attack against the spinners.
Yorkshire were starting to regret not having taken the new-ball as Groenewald straight drove Azeem Rafiq for four before striking him over long on for six and placing him through mid-wicket for three in the same over.
These blows forced Yorkshire into taking the new ball at 258 for nine and in Ryan Sidebottom’s opening over Wainwright turned him behind square leg to complete his half-century but in going for a second run he could not beat Steve Patterson’s throw to wicketkeeper, Andy Hodd, and was run out.
Last-man Mark Turner stunned the home crowd by hitting consecutive boundaries off Sidebottom with textbook strokes, leaving Derbyshire wanting three for safety when Bresnan took over at the Kirkstall Lane end to have Groenewald caught behind, Hodd securing his fifth catch of the innings on his Yorkshire debut.
Bresnan was on the money again as Derbyshire followed on, Wayne Madsen being unable to keep down a good length ball which flew to Rafiq at third slip and Matt Lineker shouldering arms and having his off-stump plucked out of the ground.
But Derbyshire showed plenty of fighting spirit and Khawaja and Wesley Durston survived until lunch and continued to thwart Yorkshire in the afternoon, their cause being helped when Durston, on 20, was dropped by Adil Rashid at mid-wicket off Bresnan.
Khawaja steered Sidebottom for his eighth boundary to bring up his half-century from 91 balls but with the third-wicket stand worth 90 in 30 overs Durston fell lbw to Patterson for 39 and the game swung Yorkshire’s way again as Dan Redfern edged Sidebottom to Hodd to make it 111 for four.
Khawaja, however, appeared unconcerned and well supported by Ross Whiteley he nudged Derbyshire ahead with 26.1 overs remaining before reaching his century in the grand manner by straight driving Rashid into the sightscreen, the left-hander having hit 15 other boundaries and faced 189 balls.
Rafiq had Whiteley well caught by skipper, Andrew Gale, at short extra cover but Khawaja continued his assault by off-driving Rafiq for another six and the sides called it a day at 190 for five with 14 overs remaining, Khawaja’s 110 coming off 202 deliveries.