Sales strokes cathartic century
David Sales blasted his first century of the season as Northamptonshire took control on the first day of their LV= County Championship clash against Glamorgan at Wantage Road.
Sales, who missed the whole of last season with a serious knee injury, scored 127 off 184 balls and his brilliant knock included 16 fours and one six.
Former captain Nicky Boje fell for 98 off 107 balls and Stephen Peters made 76, with James Harris and David Harrison claiming two wickets each for the Division Two leaders.
Northants won the toss, chose to bat and were off to a solid start, with openers Peters and Ben Howgego making 47 between them before Harris forced the latter to edge to Mark Cosgrove at third slip for 18.
Alex Wakely could only make 16 before edging Harrison to econd slip, where Glamorgan captain Jamie Dalrymple took a simple catch.
Peters and Sales survived until lunch with their side on 78 for two, with Sales finally getting off the mark just after the break off the 28th delivery he faced.
Peters then completed a patient half-century off 106 balls and, having taken so long to get going, Sales followed suit off 71 balls thanks to a flurry of boundaries.
Peters, who fell just one run short of a double century in his last championship match, against Middlesex at Lord’s, made it to 76 before edging Dean Cosker to wicketkeeper Mark Wallace to break a third-wicket stand of 94.
It was the only wicket to fall in the afternoon; Sales remained unbeaten alongside Boje as Northants reached 206 for three at tea.
Boje recorded an explosive half-century off just 53 balls before Sales completed his hundred in the 77th over off 150 balls, his first in first-class cricket since August 2008 against Gloucestershire at Bristol.
Boje was just two short of his first hundred of the season when he was lbw to Harris eight overs before the close, ending a magnificent fourth-wicket partnership of 175.
It was just eight runs short of the Northants record against Glamorgan, made by Sales and Rob White in Swansea two years ago.
Harrison finally managed to remove Sales by taking out his middle stump in the following over as Glamorgan’s attack made full use of the new ball.
Northants’ new overseas player Elton Chigumbura and captain Andrew Hall survived to finish unbeaten on six and five respectively.