Northamptonshire have claimed a convincing seven-wicket win over Durham inside two days in their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash at the Riverside.
Durham gave themselves hope after a disappointing display on day one, claiming the four remaining Northamptonshire first innings wickets within 22 balls for the cost of an extra nine runs from their overnight score of 189-6, restricting the visitors to a lead of 69.
However, Northamptonshire’s bowlers were outstanding for the second day on the bounce with the ball. Ben Sanderson claimed four wickets, taking his tally for the match to 7-80. Richard Gleeson and Nathan Buck provided the support with three strikes apiece to bowl Durham out for just 133. The visitors knocked off the 65 runs needed before the close on day two, securing a comfortable victory.
Northamptonshire began the day on 189-6 after the late wicket off Saif Zaib off the final ball of the previous day. Durham wasted no time in cleaning up the tail as Chris Rushworth claimed three wickets and Matt Salisbury notched his fourth strike en route to ending the innings on 198.
Sanderson put Durham on the back foot immediately as he dismissed Alex Lees and Gareth Harte in the same over. Gleeson bowled his first overs with the red ball since April and he did not have to wait long for his first wicket, finding Graham Clark’s outside edge allowing Brett Hutton to take the catch at first slip. Gleeson then removed Michael Richardson and Axar Patel ripping through the middle order to leave the home side in huge trouble at lunch.
The only batsman to offer resistance was opener Cameron Steel. The 22-year-old has endured a lean time during the campaign, but stuck to his task in the middle. He did receive two slices of luck, being dropped on 47 and 49 before reaching his half-century off 112 deliveries. Buck ended a decent stand between the opener and Paul Collingwood, bowling the veteran for 27 before Sanderson returned to produce a fine delivery to dismiss Steel.
Buck and Sanderson removed the tail with relative ease to bowl Durham out for 133, leaving the visitors requiring just 65 runs to secure their third win of the campaign.
Ben Curran fell in the process of the chase for 11 when he was caught by Steel off Rushworth. Patel notched the wickets of Luke Procter and Ricardo Vasconcelos, but Alex Wakely and Richard Levi were able to knock off the winning runs.