Lancashire's star-studded batting line-up crumbled under the pressure of Northamptonshire's spinners Monty Panesar and Jason Brown on a difficult Wantage Road pitch.
With the visitors chasing 389 for victory in 87 overs, Brown took 5 for 22 to add to his five-wicket haul in the first innings. Panesar, who took 3 for 32, dismissed Andrew Symonds just after lunch. Brown bowled with superb consistency and deception in a 16-over spell, taking his side to their fourth win in six games.
After Ben Phillips and Riki Wessels had added 39 runs to the hosts' overnight score, the Lancashire reply got off to a poor start.
Johann Louw, back on the field after shaking off an ankle injury, had Iain Sutcliffe caught at square leg by Rob White. Mal Loye soon followed, caught in the gully by Usman Afzaal off the bowling of Phillips.
Brown and Panesar then began a 32-over spell in tandem. Brown's first victim was Stuart Law for three, but the big breakthrough came seven overs into the second session when Symonds pushed a low return catch to Panesar.
Lancashire's captain Mark Chilton was out lbw to Brown for 38 and his side collapsed. First, Marcus North fell lbw to Brown for nine. In the same over, Glenn Chappell was caught in the slips for a duck.
Dominic Cork was bowled by Panesar before Brown took his 10th wicket of the match, bowling Simon Marshall for a duck before Warren Hegg was stumped off Panesar for 12.
Lancashire need points against Essex at Chelmsford next week to keep up their promotion challenge.
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