County Championship round-up: Northamptonshire suffer ninth defeat in 11 matches despite batting heroics


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The Independent Online

Batsman of the Day

David Willey and Andrew Hall shared an eighth-wicket partnership of 100 runs in 21.2 overs that took Northamptonshire agonisingly close to breaking their duck for the season with the most unlikely of wins against title contenders Somerset at Wantage Road.

Northamptonshire, promoted to the First Division last season, were set 404 to win when Somerset declared at 249 for 8 on Monday afternoon, and at 108 for 5 overnight appeared to have no chance. Yet after nightwatchman Olly Stone departed in the fifth over of the morning, they somehow managed to reach tea for only two further losses with the requirement down to just 84 after Kyle Coetzer, Adam Rossington and Hall had completed half-centuries.

Willey then followed suit, smacking a ball from Craig Overton for six over midwicket to go to fifty and bring up the 100 stand with Hall. But with just 53 more needed, Somerset seamer Lewis Gregory, who had already achieved a career-first match haul of 10 wickets, trapped Willey in front to complete his second five-for. In the next over, Overton had Hall caught at first slip and suddenly it was all over. Tantalisingly close to winning, Northamptonshire instead had to swallow a ninth defeat in 11 matches.

Bowler of the Day

Jeetan Patel has had a relatively quiet season, but the New Zealand off-spinner performed when it mattered as Warwickshire bowled out Durham for 113 following on, to complete an innings victory that keeps themselves in contention for the title and leaves last year’s champions Durham near the bottom two.

Warwickshire were a bowler short because of an injury to Chris Wright and knew they would have to give Keith Barker a rest after he took 6 for 46 from 22 overs in the first innings.

Barker dismissed Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick in his first two overs to leave Durham 4 for 2 but was soon taken out of the attack, after which the home side recovered to 75 for 2. But then Patel took two wickets in three balls to get rid off Michael Richardson and Gordon Muchall, which prompted Durham to lose their last eight wickets for 38 in a pitiful collapse, Patel finishing with 5 for 49, his first five-wicket haul of the season.