Foxes suffer defeat in last game

Leicestershire versus Northamptonshire, Specsavers County Championship, Day 4:

SCORECARD | Available through ESPN Cricinfo HERE

HIGHLIGHTS | The highlights of the final day are available HERE

RESULT | Northamptonshire (20 points) beat Leicestershire (3 points) by six wickets

REPORT | by Harry Josephs

Leicestershire took four wickets on the final day but Northants landed the win they needed to stand a chance of gaining promotion to Division One of the Specsavers County Championship.

The visitors reached their target of 197 in the 50th over despite Dieter Klein finishing with figures of 2 for 32 from nine overs.

Despite Northants picking up 20 points from their success, Notts appeared to be on course for the draw they needed to secure elevation when the match came to an end at the Fischer County Ground.

Loanee all-rounder Luke Procter was again in the runs for the visitors, adding 94 to his first innings score of 82.

Heavy overnight rain left the outfield wet and after an inspection at 10am, umpires Paul Baldwin and Nick Cook decided to take an early lunch, with play starting at 12.40pm.

There were 24 overs lost, meaning that Northants would need 180 to win in a minimum of 72 overs with Leicestershire seeking all ten second innings wickets.

County needed early wickets and Klein made an important breakthrough, Rob Newton well-caught by a diving Lewis Hill for 14 with the score at 31.

Similarly to the first innings Newton's opening colleague Luke Procter was batting well, giving away few chances, one straight six off the slow left arm of Callum Parkinson the main highlight.

Procter and his skipper Wakely, who also lofted down the ground, this time for four, put on 50 for the second wicket. The partnership came from 77 balls.

The left-hander gained fluency throughout his knock and bought up a second 50 of the match with a maximum over long-on off Parkinson. His fifty came from 84 balls and included four boundaries and a brace of sixes.

County mixed up the bowlers regularly with Klein, Raine, Parkinson, Zak Chappell and Neil Dexter all trying to break the partnership. The pair bought up their century partnership in 158 balls with Procter scoring 62 of the runs, Wakely 32 and seven coming through extras.

The bowling changes eventually reaped reward as Klein, who came on to bowl from the Bennett End for the first time in this innings, delivered a bouncer to Wakely (38). The captain picked out Sam Evans, who took an assured catch at deep backward square-leg.

Tea was taken shortly afterwards with Northants 154 for 2, requiring a further 43 for victory.

After the interval, Raine got proceedings underway from the Bennett End and almost got a wicket immediately as Procter defended a ball that missed the stumps by inches. Parkinson then claimed the wicket of Levi for the second time in the match, dismissing the batsman lbw for 9 as he tried to sweep.

Procter remained defiant and his first runs after tea came from angling the ball down to third man for four off Raine. The all-rounder got his revenge though; coming around the wicket he trapped the batsman leg before wicket six shy of a century. Procter’s runs came from 153 balls, hitting eight boundaries and two sixes in the process. 

Josh Cobb (8*) came to the crease and struck a pleasant cover drive to the fence from his first ball while Rob Keogh, who hit a straight drive for six off Parkinson, ended on 15 not out.

Bowling figures for Leicestershire: Klein 9-2-32-2, Raine 16-2-59-1, Parkinson 10.2-0-49-1, Chappell 7-0-22-0, Dexter 4-2-7-0, Aadil 2-0-15-0, Eckersley 1-0-2-0.