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.