• Specsavers County Championship 5m

    Div Two: Northants move into pole position

    Northamptonshire's promotion hopes look like they're remaining alive as they have Nottinghamshire in a spot of bother at The County Ground

    With three games continuing in Division Two, it's Northamptonshire who will be happiest as they have the upper hand over Notts.

    Derbyshire v Kent - no play due to rain
    Durham 321/6 v Sussex 346
    Glamorgan 442 v Gloucestershire 161/1
    Northamptonshire 194 & 270 v Nottinghamshire 151 & 33/2


    On the Chester-le-Street ground where he made a century on debut two years ago, Sussex's Ollie Robinson underlined his all-round qualities in the Specsavers County Championship match against Durham.

    He took three wickets with his usual seam and one with off spin as Graham Clark's unbeaten 73 carried Durham to 321 for six, 25 behind. Robinson revived Sussex by removing both Tom Latham and Cameron Steel after they had batted through the day's first 44 overs to take their second-wicket stand to 163.

    He almost had Latham when trying two overs of off-spin just before lunch. Having reached 50 off 92 balls with seven fours, the New Zealand left-hander was almost bowled round his legs. In the same over he survived a sharp chance to Chris Jordan at slip.

    Latham also looked fortunate to survive a Stuart Whittingham lbw appeal on 37, but both batsmen looked supremely comfortable in the first hour after lunch. Both got out to miscued pulls off Robinson, however. Steel fell for 73 when he found George Garton at deep mid-wicket and four overs later Latham skied to Laurie Evans at deep backward square to depart for 77.

    With Danny Briggs left out, Robinson provided the only spin option and he tried it again for three overs before taking the second new ball. His seventh delivery had Ryan Pringle lbw on the back foot. Left-armer Garton, given another outing with Jofra Archer rested, conceded 34 in his first six-over spell but claimed the scalp of Paul Collingwood in his second.

    The Durham skipper got off the mark by driving wide of mid-on for four, but two balls later Garton skidded one through to pin him bang in front. Jordan ran in strongly and deserved some reward, but his only success came from a ball which moved so sharply away off the pitch that Michael Richardson would have done extremely well to touch it. He lingered several seconds after being adjudged caught behind.

    Clark was missed by Jordan at slip off Robinson on ten but soon began pulling strongly and had eight fours in his 72-ball 50. He dominated a stand of 57 with Pringle and enjoyed better support in an unbroken partnership of 42 with Brydon Carse. Bad light ended play with ten overs left.


    Benny Howell has not played any Championship cricket this season, and has only opened the innings occasionally for Gloucestershire in 2012 when he joined the county from Hampshire.

    But when play against Glamorgan ended early the 29-year-old all-rounder was only four runs away from a second Championship century, the first made against Leicestershire two years ago. Gloucestershire will resume on Thursday on 161 for one, still trailing by 281, with Howell on 96 and James Bracey on 45.

    Howell adapted well to his new role, and with Chris Dent in fluent form, the opening pair put on 53 in 15 overs, before Dent sparred at one from Ruaidhri Smith to give wicketkeeper Chris Cooke a straightforward catch. Howell was then joined by 20-year-old James Bracey, a local product from the Bristol area, and after playing himself in, the wicketkeeper batsman played some elegant shots through the offside.

    The second wicket pair added 108 for the second wicket, and with the slow pitch offering anything to pace or spin, and with further rain likely to cause interruptions over the final two days, a draw is the likely outcome to this end of season encounter.

    Earlier Kiran Carlson was dismissed nine runs short of becoming Glamorgan’s youngest double centurion, when he chipped Jack Taylor to mid on. The 19-year-old from Cardiff scored 191, an innings that lasted 7 hours 23 minutes and during the course of his innings, Carlson faced 319 balls, striking 26 boundaries and 2 sixes.

    After losing two wickets in the final 15 minutes at the end of the first day, Smith helped Carlson add 97 runs for the eighth wicket, before Jack Taylor took two wickets in three balls, Smith edged Taylor’s arm ball to slip, before Marchant De Lange was trapped leg before without scoring.


    Northamptonshire’s South African stars, Rory Kleinveldt and Richard Levi, combined to put their county on course for victory against Nottinghamshire at Wantage Road in a game they have to win to keep their promotion hopes alive. Levi’s sparkling second-innings 115 helped set Notts 314 to win before Kleinveldt extended his haul to 11 wickets in the match as Notts closed day two 33 for 2.

    Kleinveldt top and tailed the day, first by completing a first-class best 9 for 65 to bowl Notts out for a first-innings 151 and then taking two more wickets as Notts faced 14 overs in their second-innings before the close. In between, Levi played an innings totally at odds with the rest of the game as Northants made 270 in their second-innings in only 52.2 overs.

    Kleinveldt took the five remaining Notts wickets to hand Northants a useful 43-run first-innings lead. He struck twice in 10 balls at the start of the day. Coming round the wicket, he drew an edge from Billy Root that was held at first slip, and back over the wicket he swung a full ball into the pads of Tom Moores to win an lbw decision.

    Chris Read joined nightwatchman Luke Wood to add 44 for the eighth wicket but Read also fell to Kleinveldt, getting a feather-edge through to wicketkeeper David Murphy. Kleinveldt then took out Brett Hutton’s off stump before claiming a skier off his own bowling to end Wood’s battling 44.

    Levi then took over with his usual array of flowing strokes. He began patiently before taking four boundaries from Steven Mullaney’s third over. It was the catalyst for a charge to fifty in just 40 balls before he crashed Harry Gurney into the cover boundary from a length ball - the shot of the match so far.

    His fourth six, pulled off Brett Hutton, took him to 99 and a 14th boundary - steered to third man - raised his hundred in 92 balls, following up his ton in Cardiff last week.

    Levi shared a stand of 147 for the second wicket to dominant the afternoon session. Rob Newton was very much the junior partner in the alliance but played a most-valuable knock himself - much like his season. Here, he passed fifty for the 11th time in the County Championship this year, more than anyone in the country. But he has only made one hundred and again fell after the first milestone, steering Hutton to second slip for 53.

    Northants then lost 3 for 11 as Notts came back into the game but Kleinveldt was on hand to put his side back into the ascendency with another merry innings including an extraordinary lofted drive for six over point. He eventually fell for 48 to an exceptional piece of work on the long leg fence where Hutton threw the ball in the air about to fall over the rope, and substitute fielder Matt Milnes completed the catch.

    Back with ball in hand as the Notts chase began, Kleinveldt took out Mullaney’s middle-and-off stumps and had Root caught at third slip trying to pull.

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