Northamptonshire v Warwickshire LV= County Championship
Warwickshire completed a comprehensive innings and 105 run victory over Northamptonshire during the afternoon session of the final day, with Chris Woakes taking four second innings wickets and Jeetan Patel three.
Needing seven wickets for victory on the final day, Warwickshire stuck to their task well and made the first breakthrough of the day during the morning session and immediately after James Middlebrook had completed a half century when Patel had him caught low down at mid-wicket by Jim Troughton.
Earlier Middlebrook had found the pace and sharp bouncers from Chris Woakes virtually unplayable and the bowler had some influence in disturbing what had been solid defence eventually resulting in losing his wicket.
Patel picked up a second wicket in the session when first innings centurion Rob Newton nicked to Ambrose for two.
After lunch, Ben Duckett literally ducked into a sharp bouncer and requiring prolonged attention and after deciding to continue, despite looking like a boxer on a bad night, he was caught at slip by Porterfield off Chris Wright from the very next ball faced, leaving spectators wondering why he hadn’t taken some time back in the dressing-room before continuing.
Woakes dismissed Hall after he had made a spirited 25 including two sixes, while Patel had Spriegel caught well at short-leg by Porterfield for 42 made off 171 balls.
Rikki Clarke wrapped up the last two wickets thanks initially to a fantastic one-handed reaction catch by Laurie Evans at short-leg to remove Crook for 20 and three deliveries later he trapped Chambers lbw to secure victory by an innings and 105 runs.
Warwickshire took 23 points and Northants 4
There were plenty of Warwickshire supporters at Wantage Road on the third day to see 18 year-old Sam Hain complete his maiden First Class century during the morning session in only his fourth First Class match.
He glanced Steven Cook’s medium pace leg side delivery to the fence and in doing, wrote his name in the Warwickshire record book, becoming the youngest player at 18 years and 336 days to score not only a First Class century but also a LV=County Championship century at the same time, and in doing, removing the name of Ian Bell from both records.
Bell had been just over two months older when he scored his first century against Oxford University at the Parks in 2001 and then made a Championship century against Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston 88 days later.
Hain was finally dismissed for 134 made off 284 balls, in almost five and three quarter hours at the crease, and his innings laid the foundation for the huge Warwickshire total of 602-9 declared; the highest ever against Northamptonshire which allowed the later batsmen to play with freedom and press home the advantage against what gradually became, a tired and dispirited Northamptonshire attack.
Rikki Clarke 46 from 62 balls, Chris Woakes 49 from 93 and Jeetan Patel 34 from 35 balls all took advantage of the conditions and collectively helped build a huge first innings advantage of 290 runs.
Keith Barker though, was the man who really made hay as he raced to the fourth century of his career with 102 from just 111 deliveries, completing his century in the first over after tea, at which point, Jim Troughton declared leaving the home side a tricky 21 overs to survive before stumps.
Chris Woakes removed Northants’ skipper Peters in the first over, caught in the gulley by Evans for 4 and he followed up with the prize wicket of Richard Levi strangled down the leg-side for 7 and in his next over had Rob Keogh well caught at slip by Porterfield without scoring to give the Northants batsman a “pair” in the match.
At 16-3 Northants could easily have rolled over, but James Middlebrook 29* and Matthew Spriegel 10* survived for 13 overs to reach the close on 51-3, still requiring a further 239 runs to make Warwickshire bat again.
It took Warwickshire just 25 minutes on the second morning to wrap up the Northants innings, with Stone 5 falling to a good slip catch by Porterfield to give Woakes a fourth wicket and then Rob Newton 114 was last man out when well caught at long-on by Troughton off Wright as Northants closed on 312.
In reply, Chopra and Porterfield made a solid start in between the showers that had the players on and off the field four times before lunch.
After the interval, Porterfield was first to go, when Crook got a ball to bounce outside Porterfield’s off stump and he edged to Middlebrook at second slip for 32.
Chopra followed 12 runs later, to a good catch by wicketkeeper Duckett, standing up to Middlebrook, for 47 and Laurie Evans 6 gave Middlebrook a second wicket when he misjudged a shot as he came down the wicket and was stumped easily by Duckett.
At 102-3, Warwickshire needed a partnership and it was provided by the returning skipper, Jim Troughton and the 18-year-old batsman, Sam Hain, who together added 138 runs for the fourth wicket in 38 overs, with both men reaching their half centuries on the way.
Troughton 69, became Middlebrook’s third victim when falling to a Peters catch, but Hain continued to bat through to the close, having faced 186 deliveries in making a career best 87 not out and with Tim Ambrose 13* had taken Warwickshire to the close on 274-4, just 38 behind with six wickets in hand.
With Warwickshire welcoming back skipper Jim Troughton to the side for the first time this season, Northamptonshire won the toss at Wantage Road and chose to bat on an overcast morning, with Richard Levi making his LV=CC debut replacing former captain David Sales in their line-up.
Chris Woakes, released for the match from England duties, struck first, trapping Stephen Peters lbw for 13 and with some unpredictable early bounce off the wicket, Rikki Clarke picked up two wickets in an over when Middlebrook’s bright start ended when he edged to Ambrose for 33 and three balls later bowled Rob Keogh middle stump without scoring.
Richard Levi and Matthew Spriegel took Northants to lunch without further loss but in the hour after the interval, Warwickshire took command as three more wickets fell for the addition of just 26 runs.
Spriegel was lbw to a ball from Chris Wright that kept low and four balls later Chris Woakes combined with Tim Ambrose to remove the powerful Levi for 43 from 57 balls.
Jeetan Patel then removed Northants skipper Ben Duckett to a good low catch at slip by Rikki Clarke for eight and at 141-6 Northamptonshire needed a partnership to get their innings back on track.
Rob Newton and Andrew Hall provided it, with Northants first century stand of the season in the Championship, as they batted for more than 40 overs adding 129 for the seventh wicket before Woakes with the new ball, made an important breakthrough, bowling Hall for 45.
Steven Crook fell to another Ambrose catch off Wright’s bowling without scoring, but with partners disappearing, Rob Newton’s boundary brought him his century and again, the first of the season in the Championship for the home side.
When play was brought to an early conclusion for bad light, Northants were just three runs away from a third batting point on 297-8 with Newton 108* and Olly Stone 1*.