Northants frustrate Foxes on day two

DAY 2 | Leicestershire CCC 308 v Northamptonshire CCC 325 for 7

SCORECARD | Available from Cricinfo HERE

REACTION | Alex Evans spoke to BBC Radio Leicester's Richard Rae at stumps. Click HERE to listen to the interview.

REPORT | Alex Evans earned his first three first-class wickets as Northamptonshire CCC posted 327 for seven in reply to Leicestershire CCC's 308.

Fellow debutant George Rhodes posted a career-best first-class score on debut for County as he posted a superb 61no on a day where runs flowed.

A spirited fightback from the Leicestershire CCC bowling attack included three late wickets to leave the game finely poised as it enters the third day.

With County beginning the day on 276 for eight, and with 14 overs remaining until the window for bonus points closed, the first port of call for the batsmen would be to see them over the 300-run mark which would earn them their third batting bonus point of the contest.

Will Davis started the day the more aggressive batsman of the partnership, hitting three boundaries in the first five overs of the game and edging the Foxes ever closer to the 300-run mark.

One further boundary from Davis, followed by a single, saw Leicestershire CCC bring up the 300-run mark with overs to spare.

Davis’ stint at the crease was soon to come to an end, however, after a bit of confusion following an attempted single from Rhodes’ push into the offside. Keogh ran the batsman who went for a crucial 20 which saw County over the 300-run mark.

This meant that Evans, Leicestershire’s 485th player in the Specsavers County Championship, came in to bat in a partnership that consisted of the two Foxes debutants.

Soon after, Rhodes went on to post a career-best first-class total after surpassing the previous best of 59 with two runs off Brett Hutton.

County’s innings then came to a close with the wicket of Evans who was pinned lbw by Hutton – who picked up his third wicket of the game – and Leicestershire CCC finished on 308.

Chris Wright opened the bowling for Leicestershire, keeping it characteristically tight conceding just a single run, and then Evans came in for his maiden first-class over.

In Evans' fourth over came the moment that he would have replayed in his head on loop yesterday – his maiden wicket for Leicestershire CCC.

It was a superb delivery that swung back in late, prompting Rob Newton (17) to leave it - the ball clipped his off stump on the way through.

Lunch then followed with the visitors at 63 for 1 following the solitary wicket for the Foxes in the first session.

It only took five balls into the second session for the second Northants CCC wicket to fall, as Ben Curran (27) nicked an inviting delivery from Davis through to Harry Swindells.

The partnership of Alex Wakely and Rob Keogh stood strong against the seam only attack of the County bowlers, until Evans stepped in to claim his second wicket of the game and break the partnership that lasted 15 overs.

Alex Wakely (37) was the wicket to fall as Swindells dived superbly to his left as the batsman got a touch to a leg-side delivery from Evans.

The following partnership of Keogh and Levi (19) lasted 33 minutes before Wright took his first wicket of the game.

The seamer swung a vicious delivery back in and clattered the batsman’s middle stick, sending the bails flying. Northamptonshire CCC were now entering their middle order and were sat on 156 for 4, adding a further 45 runs before tea.

It took until there were seven overs left to bowl before a breakthrough was made by the Leicestershire CCC attack, as the partnership of Adam Rossington and Keogh proved a tough task to crack.

Eventually, the barrage of deliveries took its toll on the duo as Rossington (63) lifted an Evans delivery to Wright, who caught comfortably at square-leg.

In the meantime, Keogh brought up his ton in the third session from 134 balls, an innings that helped his side take the lead.

Ten balls after Evans’ third wicket, Colin Ackermann claimed his first scalp of the day after beating Procter (2) with a beauty of a delivery; one that turned to clip the batsman’s off stump.

Two quick wickets halted Northamptonshire’s progress somewhat, and a third then followed as Rhodes claimed his first catch in the colours of Leicestershire CCC, as dangerman Rob Keogh (132) guided a Davis delivery to point.

Northants found themselves at 314 for 7 after losing three wickets for just 10 runs, and they added 13 further runs before stumps.

FIGURES (1st inns) | Wright 20-3-70-1, Evans 19-3-65-3, Davis 16-3-63-2, Dexter 9-1-32-0, Parkinson 15-2-66-0, Ackermann 5-2-16-1.

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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