Northants hold up Hampshire
David Willey and David Murphy frustrated promotion-seeking Hampshire by leading Northamptonshire’s defiant tail-end resistance on another rain-interrupted day at the Ageas Bowl.
Hampshire desperately needed a quick breakthrough when play resumed on the second day of this LV= County Championship match, and failed to get it.
Northants, at one stage an unhealthy 98 for five after being put in, recovered by putting on 258 for the last five wickets as their hosts struggled to make the most of a wicket which offered the seam bowlers plenty of help.
James Middlebrook made 65, Willey hit 54 , David Murphy scored 43 and there was some useful hitting by Lee Daggett in his unbeaten 26 as Northants posted 356.
At the close, brought forward by bad light, Hampshire had responded by making 125 for two from 36 overs after rain had delayed the start of the day.
Northants were 170 for five overnight and soon lost Rob Newton to a catch at the wicket by Michael Bates off David Balcombe.
However, Hampshire had to work hard for their next success.
Middlebrook and wicketkeeper Murphy put on 85 for the seventh wicket before left-arm spinner Liam Dawson breached Middlebrook's defences after an innings of 151 balls that included 10 fours.
Left arm paceman James Tomlinson bowled Murphy but there was no stopping Willey, who threatened to overhaul a career-best 76 made earlier in the month against Yorkshire.
He was eventually caught in the slips off Chris Wood and Dawson then bowled last man Luke Evans to wrap up the innings.
Neil McKenzie and Jimmy Adams subsequently took Hampshire to 62 before the former chased an outswinger from Daggett and was caught behind for 31.
Out-of-form Simon Katich followed, playing around a delivery from Evans to be leg before for seven, but Adams and Dawson saw Hampshire through to stumps.
Adams was 48 not out and Dawson unbeaten with 19 but second-placed Hampshire remained 231 behind with two days remaining.