Ben Sanderson led Northamptonshire to a mighty win over Glamorgan inside two days at Wantage Road with four second-innings wickets as Northants won by an innings and 22 runs to begin the 2017 season in the perfect fashion.
Northants took a 209-run first-innings lead in the morning session and wrapped up victory after tea, dismissing Glamorgan for 187 in their second-innings. Northants took until August to win a Specsavers County Championship match last season but here, got off the mark at the first attempt and won the opening game of the season for the first time since 1995.
Sanderson did the principle damage with two wickets in his opening spell but it was his probing effort after lunch where conditions eased and he gave nothing away that was most impressive. Rory Kleinveldt again played his part with three wickets to finish with six in the match and Nathan Buck rounded off a winning debut with the final wicket 11 overs from the close.
Northamptonshire captain Alex Wakely said: “We talked about starting well and you can’t ask for more than that and to win in two days is a great feeling. It was a good toss to lose - we just assumed we would be batting - but the first hour did the damage for us.
WICKET! What a start to the season! Glamorgan are all out for 187. NCCC win by an innings and 22 runs. Well done! pic.twitter.com/mfRHsbAHeT— NCCC (@NorthantsCCC) April 8, 2017
The bowling all the way through was the most pleasing thing because we bowled in partnerships - there was pressure from both ends all the time. And even when we weren’t taking wickets in the second innings, we managed to contain the scoring rate and when we did pick up wickets the scoreboard had gone nowhere. All the batters look in good nick, despite no really big scores, not fielding for huge periods is good at this early stage of the season and now with a couple of days off it gives us the chance to give the next two games a real shot."
Glamorgan slid against the new ball in 45 minutes before lunch. Jacques Rudolph, after a confident start getting to 21, attempted to pull Sanderson and edged to wicketkeeper Adam Rossington. Nick Selman defended Kleinveldt from the crease and played into his stumps and Sanderson had David Lloyd held low at first slip by Ben Duckett to complete a pair.
Reeling at 32 for 3 at lunch, Glamorgan lost a fourth wicket six overs into the afternoon as Sanderson slid a delivery back into the right-handed Anuerin Donald, trapping him lbw for 15.
A partnership was desperately required to try and avoid humiliation and Colin Ingram and Chris Cooke settled to share fifty for the fifth wicket. But Cooke’s patience against the probing Sanderson ended as he looked to pull a rare short ball but only found Steven Crook at midwicket. It was reward for Sanderson’s persistence, his 19 overs yielding only 31 runs.
Ingram was patient and drove well when the opportunity arose but in the final over before tea he was deceived by a flighted delivery from left-arm spinner Graeme White that turned from the footholds and was bowled for 47. Craig Meschede handed White a second wicket when he swung wildly and lost his middle stump.
Kleinveldt returned to have Harry Podmore caught behind and Kieran Carlson caught hooking at long leg before Marchant de Lange slapped Buck to mid-on to end the match.
Northants’ set up their day by extending their first-innings lead to 209 in another 16.1 overs in the morning. Kleinveldt failed to fire again after his 23-ball fifty on the first evening, adding 15 more to his overnight score before mistiming a drive to extra-cover. He walked off for 86 and the wait for a maiden first-class century for Northants continues.
Crook fell seventh ball of the morning, lbw to Lukas Carey and White was held at second slip by Nick Selman to hand de Lange a second wicket of the innings. The same bowler was driven for four by Sanderson to bring up a third batting bonus point and ensure it was a 22-point haul to begin the season for Northamptonshire.
Glamorgan captain Jacques Rudolph said: “Obviously we’re disappointed. The effort we put in before this game is not a fair reflection on our performance. There were two or three moments that could have changed the game - we had them 27 for 3 and then missed two chances and then when Rory game into bat we missed an early chance too.
“But I think we have to be honest today and say it wasn’t a 190 all-out wicket, it was a decent batting wicket today. Lukas has been the most impressive bowlers over the last month and I think he’s got a bright future. Colin played well too with the bat but as a unit we have to sit down and work out how we’re going to get better."