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County excel with bat and ball

Leicestershire enjoyed an excellent day against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road as part of pre-season preparations.

Northamptonshire made 223 in their 60 overs of batting on the second day of the match and were all out to the last ball before tea.

Anthony Ireland ended with terrific figures of 3-19 from 10 overs, while Charlie Shreck, Jigar Naik and James Sykes picked up two wickets apiece and Ollie Freckingham was the other wicket-taker.

Ned Eckersley and Josh Cobb scored 53 and 49 not out respectively at good pace as Leicestershire closed on 143-3 from 30 overs. Matthew Boyce also played nicely and closed on 27 not out.

The game was played on the edge of the square so it was a very short boundary on one side of the ground. Northants and Leicestershire started the day from scratch given there were changes to both sides.

Leicestershire had six bowlers operating in the game with Shreck, Freckingham, Nathan Buck and Ireland providing seam options and Naik and Sykes the two spinners.

Shreck (2-54 off 13 overs) opened the bowling alongside Freckingham (1-50 off 10) and the new signing picked up two wickets in his opening spell. The seamer had Stephen Peters (6) and Rob Keogh (13) caught behind by Niall O’Brien before Kyle Coetzer and Andrew Hall staged a recovery.

Buck (0-57 off 11) and Ireland came on as first change and Ireland bowled Hall for 20. Freckingham then returned to have Steve Crook caught by a diving Dan Redfern for 29.

Coetzer was still there at lunch on 48 not out alongside Matt Spriegel but both men fell to Ireland shortly after the interval. Spriegel was another catch for O'Brien before Coetzer was dismissed one shy of his half-century.

Naik (2-32 off 14 overs) then picked up a couple of wickets before James Kettleborough held things up by making 46. James Sykes (2-11 off 3) collected the final wickets before tea was taken.

Leicestershire lost Greg Smith (0) and Michael Thornely (8) to Olly Stone and Mohammad Azhar Ullah respectively as they slipped to 30-2. But Eckersley played well before falling to David Burton and Boyce and Cobb also batted nicely. Our pre-season programme finishes tomorrow with an intra-squad game at Grace Road (10.45am start).

 
 

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