Northamptonshire v Gloucestershire
Specsavers County Championship -
Venue: Wantage Road
Ben Sanderson took a career-best 8 for 73 as Northamptonshire ended their 2016 season with a 114-run win over Gloucestershire at Wantage Road.
Needing to bat out the final day with eight-wickets in hand, George Hankins made a superb maiden first-class century but Sanderson saw Northants to a fourth win in their final six games taking four wickets with the second new ball.
Sanderson removed Gareth Roderick and Will Tavare on the third evening but took until after lunch on day three to add to his haul. He ended a fourth-wicket stand of 103 by having Chris Dent held at second slip and two balls later trapped Hamish Marshall lbw for a second-ball duck to revive his sides hopes.
George Hankins, with 116 to his name, and Phil Mustard moved Gloucestershire to 286 for 5 with 27 overs left in the day but Sanderson found movement with the second new-ball to beat the inside edge of Hankins to take out middle and leg stump – completing a fourth five-wicket haul of the season – and then trap Jack Taylor lbw for 5.
It left Northants with 23 overs to find three wickets and Sanderson had Craig Miles edging to second slip, Rory Kleinveldt forced David Payne into a tame chip to extra-cover before fittingly, Sanderson won the game by ending Mustard’s resistance, he also edged to second slip for a battling 79.
Ben Sanderson said:
“It was a very hot day and to get eight is just amazing. We knew that a couple with the new ball would give us a new lease of life and it wobbled just a little bit. We thought they were a bit short with the ball so we worked on our lengths to get a bit fuller and it proved key in both innings.
“I said I probably won’t beat the 7-for at Swansea but this is amazing, what a way to end the season.”
Sanderson’s career-best rendered Hankins’ own career-best 116 to a losing cause. He occupied the crease for over four hours on the final day, moving Gloucestershire towards a draw that looked unlikely with the visitors 151 for 5 an hour after lunch.
Hankins survived a verbal and short-ball barrage throughout the afternoon but showed excellent application to frustrate Northants. He ran keenly between the wickets and almost never missed out on a poor ball, pulling – once notably through mid-on – and cutting with confidence.
95 not out at tea, he took just two overs to reach a maiden century in 154 balls with a dabbed single wide of point, with his father in attendance having dashed down from business in Leicester.
He and Mustard shared 135 for the sixth wicket to repel Northants for a long part of the afternoon before Sanderson won the game with the second new ball.
Richard Dawson said:
“Our aim for the day was just to bat out and if we’d batted the day, we may have been there for there abouts.
“To be bowled out for 260 in the first innings wasn’t good enough and then in the second innings with the ball we weren’t good enough.
“George is a natural scorer, he’s got every shot in the book, and to rein himself in he did very well and got his reward for patience and wearing the bowlers down”.
Richard Levi’s 95 helped put Northamptonshire in a good position on the final day as they set Gloucestershire 442 to win at Wantage Road. The hosts were bowled out for 376 in their second-innings before Gloucestershire closed day three 35 for 2.
Gloucestershire were sent in for 16 overs to close and they lost Gareth Roderick for 19, edging a good length delivery from Ben Sanderson that just held it’s line, and Will Tavare, trying to play a back-foot push and being caught at second slip for a duck.
At 155 for 4 shortly after lunch, Gloucestershire sensed a way back into the game but Levi shared a stand of 71 with Adam Rossington for the fifth wicket and 76 with Steven Crook for the sixth.
Rossinton missed a sweep at Jack Taylor and was lbw for 34 before Levi, five short of a century, pushed into the off side and called for a single that Crook disagreed with as Will Tavare dived to his left to make a sharp save. Levi was three-quarters of the way down the wicket and gave up any chance to recover his ground. Tavare had time for a cup of tea before returning a throw to Phil Mustard.
Earlier in the day, Northants resumed 44 for 0 and Duckett made his way to 70 in the final innings of a wondrous 2016 season.
Having struck five fours to reach 31 not out by the close on day two, he began the third day in typically aggressive touch. An extra-cover drive against Liam Norwell was the stroke of the morning as he passed fifty in 59 balls with eight fours.
But when a fifth hundred of the season looked possible, Matt Taylor found a ball to jump and take the splice of the bat, providing a catch to George Hankins at point.
Rob Newton was also out on the third morning, edging Matt Taylor to slip after an opening stand of 116 with Duckett and in the over before lunch Alex Wakely edged David Payne to second slip to keep Gloucestershire in the game. Levi’s afternoon ensured that the home side were in a good position on the final day.
David Payne took four wickets and scored a fourth first-class half-century to help Gloucestershire keep in touch with Northamptonshire at Wantage Road. The hosts closed their second innings 44 for 0, leading by 109.
Payne removed four wickets in 11 balls in the morning session to whittle Northamptonshire out for 326 before his half-century helped boost Gloucestershire to 261, reducing the first-innings deficit to 65.
But it was Northamptonshire who ended day two on top as Ben Duckett gave their second innings a bright start following Rob Keogh’s 4 for 67.
Keogh helped reduce Gloucestershire to 158 for 7 before Payne followed up his career-best 67 not out at Cardiff last week with another half-century here – just his fourth in first-class cricket – to provide the visitors with a second batting point.
He survived a diving chance offered to Rory Kleinveldt at third slip on 10 but thereafter played with composure. A loose drive sped away to the third man rope for his ninth four and a single took him to fifty in 57 balls.
Together with Jack Taylor, they began a smart recovery shortly before tea. Keogh had Will Tavare caught at short midwicket after a dogged innings trying to regain form, before Phil Mustard tried to drive outside off stump and got a thin edge to David Murphy.
Before Keogh’s wickets, Azharullah made the breakthrough after lunch with a delivery that nipped away from Hamish Marshall to clip the outside of the off stump and Steven Crook fired a full straight delivery into Craig Miles’ stumps to leave the visitors in trouble.
They had hoped to be in a better position after Payne ran through through Northants lower order in 11 balls, taking the four remaining wickets without conceding a run. Crook fell second ball of the day trying to late cut and getting a thin edge to Mustard, four balls later Kleinveldt drove loosely to extra-cover.
Murphy scored Northants only runs of the day with an edge to third man before Payne returned to have Azharullah smartly held at third slip by Marshall. Ben Sanderson lost his off stump next ball as Payne, wicketless on the first day, finished with 4 for 57.
David Payne said:
“I probably haven’t had a better start to a day than that before, it was the perfect start. It looks a decent wicket, there’s not too many demons out there so I was happy with 326 but we were disappointing with the bat.
“I guess our chance is first thing and we need to be on it again in the morning.”
Rob Newton and Alex Wakely made centuries for Northamptonshire but Gloucestershire came back smartly after tea to leave the home side 322 for 6 by the close on the opening day at Wantage Road.
Newton, played a fluent innings for his third century of the summer. He was productive backward of point and steered his side through the majority of the opening day, raising a hundred in 173 balls with his 14th four – cutting Jack Taylor past extra-cover.
His stand of 196 with Northants captain Wakely put the hosts in control of the day shortly before tea. Wakely looked in excellent touch throughout his 179-ball century. In the morning he twice rocked back to pull Matt Taylor through midwicket and after lunch skipped down the wicket in Jack Taylor’s first over of off spin to strike four down the ground. Next over he lifted him over mid-on for six and drove another boundary past extra-cover.
He clipped Matt Taylor down the ground for his 17th four, a first century of the summer and fifth in first-class cricket. But trying to sweep Jack Taylor, fell lbw three overs before tea and Northants never regained their commanding position.
Having leaked 129 runs in 34 overs between lunch and tea, Gloucestershire produced a smart fightback in the final session. Liam Norwell, who nibbled a ball away from Ben Duckett for the opening wicket in the sixth over of the morning, returned to have Richard Levi splendidly caught by Gareth Roderick running to his right and diving full length from mid-on. Two balls later, one left Newton to take an edge behind.
Norwell, running in with purpose, and David Payne, who has been impressive with his red-ball bowling this season, were excellent for Gloucestershire throughout the day. Craig Miles responded later on to provide good support, he picked up the wicket of Rob Keogh after tea and in the penultimate over of the day, a good length ball squared Adam Rossington up and straightened to take an outside edge and provide a fourth catch of the day for wicketkeeper Phil Mustard.
With the second new ball, Gloucestershire took 53 for 3 to leave the opening day’s play fairly even.
Liam Norwell said: “If you hit a fuller length there’s something there for the bowlers, it flies through a bit quicker.
“Newton and Wakely batted really well, we were probably a fraction short in the morning but we banged a full length later in the day and then used the second new ball well.”
Gloucestershire elected to bowl.
Robert Newton | Ben Duckett | Robert Keogh | Alex Wakely | Richard Levi | Adam Rossington | Steven Crook | Rory Kleinveldt | David Murphy | Mohammad Azharullah | Ben Sanderson |
Gareth Roderick | Christopher Dent | William Tavare | George Hankins | Hamish Marshall | Phil Mustard | Jack Taylor | Craig Miles | David Payne | Liam Norwell | Matthew Taylor |