Willey to the fore
David Willey took eight wickets as Northamptonshire kept their promotion hopes alive on an astonishing second day of their LV= County Championship match against Gloucestershire at Wantage Road.
The hosts, who started the day third in Division Two, were bowled out for 343 in the morning with Jon Lewis taking the final wicket - that of James Middlebrook for 39 - to claim figures of 4-61.
Any remaining promotion hopes Gloucestershire harboured then rapidly diminished as they were all out for 183, with Willey taking a magnificent 5-29 and Lee Daggett finishing with 4-69.
Forced to follow-on, the visitors closed on 84 for five as Willey took three more wickets to take his match figures to 8-44.
Northamptonshire began the day on 316 for nine and Middlebrook added 11 more runs to his overnight score before he edged Surrey-bound Lewis’ delivery onto his stumps to leave Daggett unbeaten on 19.
Chaminda Vaas broke through for his side when he trapped Chris Dent lbw for 28 before Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Richard Coughtrie departed on 40 as he edged Willey to his opposite number, Niall O’Brien.
Daggett was then nudged by Chris Taylor to O’Brien and the same combination accounted for Gloucester captain Alex Gidman with the very next ball.
Willey dismissed Hamish Marshall when the New Zealander dragged the ball onto his stumps before Kane Williamson fell on 44 when he chipped Daggett to David Lucas at mid-on.
Gloucestershire were then given some respite when rain stopped play leading to an early tea interval.
Will Gidman had passed 50 wickets in a season yesterday with a five-for and he reached the landmark of 1,000 championship runs this term although he edged Daggett to O’Brien the delivery after Ian Cockbain was pinned lbw by Willey.
Willey then had Ian Saxelby trapped leg before and he sealed the maiden five-wicket haul of his career when he bowled Lewis.
With a lead of 160, Northamptonshire enforced the follow-on but more rain was to delay the start of Gloucestershire’s second innings.
When play resumed, Vaas dismissed Coughtrie when he was again caught by O’Brien before Dent went cheaply on 26 when he smashed Willey to Rob Newton at point.
Two balls later, Willey trapped Taylor lbw and the same man repeated the trick to Williamson, who made 29, before Daggett bowled nightwatchman David Payne with the day’s last ball.