Maurice Chambers staked a claim for a Warwickshire contract with his maiden first-class fifty and two wickets to leave Derbyshire staring relegation in the face in the LV= County Championship match at Derby.
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Chambers, who is on loan from Essex, scored 58 in a Warwickshire-record ninth-wicket stand of 166 in 55 overs in tandem with England all-rounder Chris Woakes, who made a career-best unbeaten 152 from 273 balls before the visitors declared on 391 for nine.
Keith Barker then took three for 21 and Chambers two for 21 to leave Derbyshire on 44 for five when bad light ended play, a seemingly hopeless position in a game they must win to stay up.
Rain had washed out the morning session but when the game resumed under the floodlights, Woakes and Chambers continued their history-making partnership to deny Derbyshire a third bowling point.
The home side had 14 overs to claim another wicket but although the ball beat the bat numerous times, the pair slowly took the game away from them.
Chambers passed his previous highest score of 30 for Essex against Leicestershire at Grace Road in 2011 and the previous record ninth-wicket stand at Derby of 135 between Harry Parks and Tich Cornford for Sussex in 1935 fell soon afterwards.
Woakes beat his career-best 136 against Hampshire at Edgbaston in 2010 and when Chambers drove spinner David Wainwright back for a sharp single, he raised his bat to acknowledge his first 50 which had taken 195 minutes.
For a man with a batting average of just over five, it was a remarkable effort and the next milestone to be left behind was Warwickshire's previous highest record ninth-wicket stand of 154 by George Stephens and Alfred Groom at Birmingham in 1925.
Chambers was finally stumped giving Wainwright the charge but Woakes completed an outstanding 150 before Varun Chopra let his bowlers off the leash to push Derbyshire to the brink of relegation.
After his heroics with the bat, it was no surprise that Chambers was soon among the wickets and with Barker also moving the ball late, Derbyshire were quickly in desperate trouble.
Ben Slater was lbw to the third ball of the innings, skipper Wayne Madsen edged Chambers to first slip and Paul Borrington was snared at gully to leave the home side reeling at nine for three.
Chambers then had former Warwickshire wicketkeeper Richard Johnson caught by ex-Derbyshire skipper Rikki Clarke at second slip with only 14 on the board and when Alex Hughes was caught behind off Barker, Derbyshire were crumbling at 33 for five.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul played a couple of defiant drives before bad light and then drizzle brought a halt at 5.15pm but unless there is an amazing turnaround over the last two days, Derbyshire are heading back to Division Two after just one season.