Foxes lead by 118 going into final day

DAY 3 | Leicestershire CCC 308 & 189 v Northamptonshire CCC 357 & 22 for none

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REPORT | Northamptonshire CCC will require 119 to win with Leicestershire CCC looking for all ten second innings wickets on the final day of the Specsavers County Championship game at the Fischer County Ground.

Will Davis led the Foxes charge in the third day after claiming two of the remaining three wickets, claiming first innings figures of four for 73 to bowl the visitors out for 357.

That 49-run lead proved valuable as Northamptonshire CCC equalled the record for the amount of lbw dismissals in a first-class innings - eight - as the visitors bowled Leicestershire CCC out for 189 on day three.

With the visitors in the lower reaches of their batting line-up, and with the new ball only four overs old, Leicestershire CCC were hoping to wrap up the innings early on day three.

Davis opened the bowling in inspired form, with the duo of Berg and Bracewell surviving a number of lbw shouts.

However, the partnership only lasted 27 balls into the third day as Davis made the breakthrough for the Foxes after pinning Berg in front for 5.

The final two wickets fell within four balls of each other as Wright took the ninth with the wicket of Hutton (0) who was caught behind by Harry Swindells with a smart dive low to his right.

Davis then wrapped up the innings as Bracewell (38) lifted his delivery straight to Mark Cosgrove at mid on who caught comfortably.

Paul Horton and Hassan Azad emerged from the pavilion to begin the second innings as the Foxes first set about chasing down the 49-run deficit.

It took seven balls before Northamptonshire made the breakthrough as Sanderson trapped Horton (0) lbw.

Gareth Berg came in for his first over in the 13th and claimed his first wicket of the innings – and third of the game – with his fourth ball as Azad (6) flicked the delivery to Alex Wakely at first slip.

County ended the first session of the day at 33 for 2.

In the fourth over of the second session, Leicestershire CCC lost their third wicket as Hutton pinned Cosgrove lbw for 8 – and the Foxes were in need of a partnership.

Out walked Rhodes who showed immense promise during his 61no in the first innings.

Rhodes faced 10 balls before losing his wicket for the first time in Leicestershire CCC colours. The new Fox earned a boundary off Sanderson three balls before the bowler pinned him lbw (4).

Leicestershire CCC now had a two-run lead in the contest but had lost four second innings wickets.

The partnership of Ackermann and Dexter was gaining some legs – a partnership that saw Ackermann bring up his half-century from 112 balls – before the No.3 batsman was leg before for 60. His replacement, Swindells (0), met the same fate as Ackermann.

County were now at 104 for six and were into their lower order with Parkinson joining Dexter at the crease.

Dexter and Parkinson saw Leicestershire CCC through to the second interval of the day at 134 for six with Dexter 35no and Parkinson 11no.

The partnership of Dexter and Parkinson breached the 50-run mark from 85 balls as the duo reinstated some initiative to the Foxes’ batting.

Not long after though, the wicket of Parkinson was claimed, lbw by Berg for what could prove to be a useful 25.

Not a run was put on to the total of 155 for seven before another wicket fell for Leicestershire, as Dexter (42) was lbw to Sanderson –  this was the 11th lbw dismissal of the game for Northamptonshire CCC, and the seventh in the innings.

Wright and Davis now occupied the crease, and Davis was the next County batsman to fall. Bracewell claimed the wicket  as Davis (8) was lbw.

Leicestershire CCC finsihed on 189 – a 140-run lead – as Luke Procter bowled Wright for 20. Alex Evans finished the on 5no.

There were 10 overs left to play in the third day following the conclusion of County’s innings, where Northamptonshire began their 141-run chase.

With five overs bowled, umpires Paul Pollard and Billy Taylor decided to withdraw the players from the field due to bad light with the visitors were at 22 without loss. Five minutes later, the stumps were removed from the wicket and day three came to an end.

FIGURES (1st inns) | Wright 24-3-92-2, Evans 19-3-65-3, Davis 20.2-5-73-4, Dexter 9-1-32-0, Parkinson 15-2-66-0, Ackermann 5-2-16-1

FIGURES (2nd inns) | Davis 3-1-13-0, Wright 2-0-9-0.

TEAM | Horton (capt), Ackermann, Azad, Cosgrove, Davis, Dexter, A. Evans, Parkinson, Rhodes, Swindells (wk), Wright.

Northamptonshire CCC | Rossington (capt & wk), Curran, Newton, Wakely, Keogh, Levi, Procter, Berg, Bracewell, Hutton, Sanderson.

IMAGES | Thanks to John Mallet of Outside Off for providing the images throughout the game.

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