Naik spins Leicestershire to win
Off-spinner Jigar Naik took four wickets as Leicestershire rounded off their season with a thumping 10-wicket victory over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
Northamptonshire, whose campaign has tailed off badly, collapsed to 198 all out with only James Middlebrook’s 62 and Lee Daggett’s 48, from as many balls, providing some semblance of resistance.
Naik claimed 4-58 and 19-year-old seamer Nathan Buck took three wickets as Leicestershire ensured themselves a top-half finish in Division Two.
The visitors did have to bat a second time but, needing just a single, Matt Boyce took one ball to seal the win with a boundary.
Northamptonshire started the day on 10 for one, 188 behind their opponents, with Mal Loye and Alex Wakely resuming on four and two respectively.
Wakely was only able to make it to six, however, before Buck forced him to edge to Leicestershire wicketkeeper Tom New, who took a good catch to his right.
David Sales made nine before being bowled by Matthew Hoggard in the following over. It was the Leicestershire captain’s 50th wicket in the LV= County Championship this season.
Northamptonshire’s miserable morning continued when Loye edged Harry Gurney to Matthew Boyce at first slip on 15 to leave them floundering on 39 for four.
Rob Newton, who hit a century in his first innings, made it to 18 before missing his attempted pull off Gurney and playing on to his stumps.
The white flag was raised further by the hosts when wicketkeeper David Murphy nudged Naik to Jacques du Toit at slip.
Middlebrook and David Lucas finally managed to push Northamptonshire over 100, but Lucas was unable to last until lunch because he was pinned lbw by Naik.
Jack Brooks was to perish the fifth over of the afternoon when he edged Buck to New, who took a simple catch to push Leicestershire to within two wickets of victory.
Daggett and Middlebrook then frustrated the Leicestershire bowling attack with Northamptonshire's first fifty-partnership of the innings, with Middlebrook completing his half-century off 90 balls.
Daggett went on to surpass his previous highest score in first-class cricket, beating the 33 he made for Warwickshire at Durham in 2007.
Middlebrook eventually holed out when he launched Naik high to Hoggard at mid-off to end a stand of 74 for the ninth wicket.
Daggett was bowled by Naik just two short of a maiden half-century with the scores level, and Boyce soon smashed Wakely for four.