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Coetzer propels Northants

Northants Cricket

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A century from Kyle Coetzer helped Northamptonshire pocket four batting bonus points in their rain-affected LV= County Championship Division Two clash with Leicestershire at Grace Road.

Alex Wakely also chipped in with a solid 63, before all-rounder David Willey hit a quickfire 45, allowing Northants to declare at 352 for seven off 109 overs.

That left Leicestershire with 16 overs to negotiate before the close and they were soon in trouble, losing two early wickets. Sri Lankan veteran Chaminda Vaas bagged them both, dismissing Greg Smith and Kadeer Ali, who both edged to wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien as the home side reached stumps on 38 for two.

With more than a day and a half already lost to the weather, there seemed little else left in the match other than a battle for bonus points.

At least conditions were much brighter at the start of the third day, although there was still a delay of 35 minutes to complete mopping-up operations, before Northants could resume on 99 for three.

Kyle Coetzer

Kyle Coetzer led the way with 120 as Northamptonshire made up for lost time by securing four batting bonus points at Grace Road

Coetzer, 43 not out overnight, took another 39 balls to reach his fifty as he and Wakely carefully added to their fourth-wicket partnership.

They looked in little trouble and Wakely brought up his half-century from 95 deliveries with four boundaries. The stand went past the 100 mark before the introduction of Josh Cobb finally brought Leicestershire a wicket.

Wakely, surprised by a low full toss, popped up an easy return catch to the off-spinner having made 63 out of a partnership of 120.

Yet Coetzer continued to bat with confidence and purpose, reaching his first century for Northants with a glorious cover-driven boundary off Robbie Joseph.

It was his 12th four and another five followed in rapid succession before Nathan Buck, playing his first championship game of the season after a back injury, snapped up two wickets in an over.

Andrew Hall pulled a long hop to midwicket and Coetzer edged to second slip having made 120 off 245 balls with 17 boundaries.

O'Brien fell cheaply, but James Middlebrook and Willey joined forces in an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 61 in 10 overs to take Northants past 350.

Willey struck five fours and two massive sixes in his sparkling innings, with Northants collecting four bonus points and Leicestershire two. There were two wickets each for seamers Matthew Hoggard, Joseph and Buck.

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