Some powerful lower order striking from loanee Matt Coles lifted Northamptonshire to 299 and put the hosts on top after Day 1 at The County Ground.

In humid, grey conditions Leicestershire captain Paul Horton had no interest in a toss and sent Northamptonshire in to bat. Rob Newton returned from injury but could only manage 5 before edging Wright to second slip. Vasconcelos and Wakely saw off the opening spell of crafty Pakistani seamer Muhammad Abbas and forced Horton to shuffle his pack.

In bowler-friendly conditions the pair put on a hardworking 53 for the second wicket, before Vasconcelos was dismissed with the total at 63. A platform was set for South African international Temba Bavuma to kick on with Wakely, the pair walking off for lunch at 72/2.

Both Bavuma and Wakely were made to fight hard by the Leicestershire attack, the partnership reaching 59 before Bavuma edged behind for 20. That brought a positive Rob Keogh to the crease who regularly found the boundary to take the score past 150. Alex Wakely reached his half century off 102 balls and added a further 15 runs before an athletic one-handed catch from Ackermann ended his stay. Captain Adam Rossington joined Keogh and together they saw Northamptonshire safely to the second interval.

Rob Keogh’s innings came to an end on 34, trapped in front by Wright looking to clip the ball into the leg side. His dismissal seemed to release Rossington though, who took the game to the Leicestershire attack. The newly announced red-ball captain took Neil Dexter apart with a barrage of boundaries straight and over the leg side. Rossington was eventually dismissed when approaching his half-century, Davis sliding one through his defense for 45 from just 50 deliveries.

Leicestershire took the second new ball immediately and to great effect, dismissing Procter, Hutton and Buck in quick succession. With Northamptonshire now 250 for 9 Matt Coles released the shackles, blasting 41 from 34 balls in a partnership worth 49 with Sanderson. The number 11 falling to a leading edge just 1 shy of a third batting point, Northamptonshire all out for 299.

Leicestershire were left with a tricky 3 overs to negotiate at the end of play. Despite Sanderson and Hutton both beating the bat more than once, Rossington’s five slips were left joyless as the visitors finished the day 6/0.

Northamptonshire 299 (Wakely 65, Rossington 45)

Leicestershire 6/0

Full scorecard.