Middlebrook leads Northants charge

Lv County Championship

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James Middlebrook struck 70 as Northamptonshire moved themselves into a winning position on the third day of their LV= County Championship Division Two match against Glamorgan at the SWALEC Stadium.

Middlebrook top-scored in Northamptonshire's total of 292 all out, a lead of 158.

The hosts reached 61 without loss in reply, only to be undermined by losing four quick wickets; they eventually closed on 96 for four, still 62 behind.

Northamptonshire got proceedings under way on 145 for five, a lead of 11, after only 17.1 overs were possible on the second day.

Andrew Hall and Middlebrook batted for the first 90 minutes of the third morning, taking the visitors past 200 and registering a batting point.

But the sixth-wicket pair, who added 60, were separated when Hall drove Mike Reed straight to Ben Wright at point for 32.

Northamptonshire had reached 218 for six by lunch - a lead of 84 - having been boosted by a pull for six over backward square-leg by Middlebrook off Graham Wagg.

Middlebrook cleared the rope again after lunch, striking slow left-armer Dean Cosker for his second six as he moved into the 40s.

Glamorgan took the second new ball and Michael Hogan broke through almost immediately, having David Murphy caught at slip.

Following a rain break, Wagg claimed the last three wickets in the space of 13 balls as Northamptonshire were dismissed for 292; he bowled David Willey, trapped Stephen Crook lbw and had Middlebrook caught at slip by Jim Allenby.

Glamorgan openers Wright and Will Bragg survived until tea to reach 21 for none in seven overs, the latter batting with Cosker as a runner after not fielding for most of the day.

However, have prospered briefly after the interval, both fell in quick succession; Bragg was trapped leg before by Willey and Wright edged a rising Hall delivery to Trent Copeland at first slip.

Australian overseas player Marcus North then failed for a second time when edging a good Crook delivery behind as Glamorgan slumped to 69 for three.

That became 73 for four as Stewart Walters fell to a sharp catch by wicketkeeper Murphy standing up to Hall.

Allenby and Murray Goodwin, who scored three from 41 balls, took Glamorgan to the close without any further scares.

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