Northants' efforts go to waste
A third-wicket partnership of 152 between Alex Wakely and David Sales proved in vain as Northamptonshire’s Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Derbyshire fell victim to the inclement weather at Wantage Road.
In striking 85 and 74 respectively, skipper Wakely, who was dropped on two, and veteran partner Sales were chiefly responsible for lifting the hosts to 220 for eight after they had been invited to bat first.
Derbyshire slipped to 19 for two in reply, before a heavy downpour forced an interruption after 6.1 overs. The amount of rainfall ensured play was unable to continue and a no-result was confirmed at 7:30pm.
Northants remain winless in 40-over cricket this term and rooted to the foot of Group C, having seen four of their seven games ruined by rain. Derbyshire have also taken just four points in the competition thus far, although they do have a game in hand.
Seamer Mark Turner was comfortably the pick of the bowlers on show and struck twice inside the first seven overs.
Kyle Coetzer sliced a loose delivery straight to Dan Redfern at cover-point and, in Turner’s next set of six, David Willey was caught behind by debutant wicketkeeper Chris Durham via a thin edge.
Derbyshire should have been celebrating one ball earlier, only for Durham - playing in place of the injured Tom Poynton - to put down a simple chance to his right when Wakely nicked a length ball from Turner.
After a slow start, Northants’ skipper gradually grew in stature with a series of aggressive strokes, while Sales, on his return from a hamstring injury, was particularly strong through the leg side in a similarly impressive 79-ball innings.
Wickets tumbled when the batting powerplay was taken in the 35th over, however.
Sales missed a straight full toss and Rob Newton chopped on to a slower ball in the same over from Turner, who finished with 4-38.
David Murphy clubbed Tim Groenewald over midwicket for six, only to be caught aiming a big swipe at the next ball, and Wakely was sent packing three deliveries later when he provided the same bowler with a return catch.
Derbyshire gained further momentum by running out Con de Lange and David Burton, but almost lost Usman Khawaja in the first over of their reply when Sales put down a sitter at second slip off Willey.
Chesney Hughes and Wes Durston duly departed in quick succession; the former top-edged a pull to deep square-leg while Durston was plumb lbw to youngster Oliver Stone.
Yet Northants were to be prevented from making any further breakthroughs as the heavens opened.