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The Cricket Paper - - REVIEW -

Northants’ ninth vic­tory of the sea­son, com­pleted with some ease in be­nign bat­ting con­di­tions at Grace Road, had a bit­ter-sweet el­e­ment for the men from Wan­tage Road.

Events at Hove, where Not­ting­hamshire needed only to draw with Sus­sex to con­firm they would take the sec­ond pro­mo­tion place from Di­vi­sion Two, meant that Northamp­ton­shire fin­ish the sea­son third.

Con­di­tions were very much in favour of the visi­tors through­out with bat­ting at its most dif­fi­cult in the first hour or so of the morn­ing, when the ball swung and seamed.

So the fact a sat­u­rated out­field pre­vented play start­ing un­til 12.40pm was ideal for Northants, who be­gan the day need­ing 180 to win with ten sec­ondin­nings wick­ets in hand.

By the time play be­gan a bright sun had taken any men­ace out of the at­mos­phere and de­spite los­ing opener Rob New­ton, they pushed on with Luke Proc­ter and Alex Wakely adding 121 for the sec­ond wicket in good time.

Wakely’s wicket was promptly fol­lowed by that of Richard Levi and Proc­tor af­ter the break – the for­mer via Le­ices­ter­shire’s young left armer Cal­lum Parkinson – but Northants were still home and dry.

Northants were left to par­tic­u­larly rue the five­point de­duc­tion suf­fered af­ter de­feat at Trent Bridge ear­lier this month for a slow over-rate.With­out that, they would have fin­ished level on points with Notts – and ahead of them on wins.

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