Gus Miller and Hassan Azad hit half centuries in either innings but Worcestershire 2XI took control on a tough third day at Geddington CC.

After finishing Day 2 on 392/8, Worcestershire declared overnight to put Northamptonshire in to bat for the start of the day.

Ricardo Vasconcelos and Hassan Azad opened the batting for the 2XI, but Worcestershire made a breakthrough in the third over, as Vasconcelos was trapped LBW by seamer Ben Gibbon.

Northamptonshire then found themselves two down as Harry Gouldstone was removed in the following over when he edged off through to the wicketkeeper off the bowling of Cameron Jones.

From 11/2, Northamptonshire looked like they had managed to bring some stability to the crease with Azad and Lewis McManus but in the first delivery of the 17th over, Harry Darley removed McManus as he was deemed to have edged through to the keeper, leaving Northamptonshire 46/3.

Worcestershire continued their strong start to the morning session as Hassan Azad and Justin Broad were dismissed in consecutive overs to put Northamptonshire in trouble before lunch.

James Sales and Gus Miller started to rebuild the innings for the 2XI with an unbeaten 34 partnership before lunch as they went into the afternoon session on 86/5.

However, the 2XI’s struggles continued when James Sales fell for 29 in the second over after Lunch, giving Giddon his second wicket. Rohan Mehmi also fell, six overs later, as he edged off to give Roderick behind the stumps for his fourth catch of the innings, restricting Northamptonshire to 99/7.

The difficult afternoon session continued as Simon Kerrigan fell for 6 to a brilliant diving catch by Henry Cullen at third slip as Northamptonshire found themselves eight wickets down for 109 runs.

George Weldon provided some big hitting in his 14 deliveries with a six and a four but similarly to Kerrigan, he found Cullen at third slip.

Gus Miller was still going well at the crease and the all rounder brought up his 50 by hitting three boundaries in a row, including a six to bring up his half century in 84 deliveries.

Unfortunately, Miller ran out of partners as George Gowler was trapped LBW by Harry Darley, giving the young seamer his 5th wicket and enforcing the follow on with Northamptonshire 155 all out.

Miller top scored for the side as he ended on an unbeaten 51 from 85 deliveries, with seven 4s and one 6.

Northamptonshire were forced to follow on as Azad and Vasconcelos came out to open for the second time in the day.

It was a promising start from the openers, as the pair hit 4 boundaries in the first three overs of their second innings. Vasconcelos hit seven 4s on his way to a quick fire 28 early on but was caught in the 7th over at midwicket off the bowling of Ben Gibbon.

Harry Gouldstone was in at three but edged through to the keeper in the 9th over, bringing Lewis McManus to the crease.

McManus and Azad motored to a fifty partnership, but McManus fell in the 25th over as Gibbon picked up his third wicket of the innings and Northamptonshire were 86/3.

Justin Broad was next to the crease at 5 as the German international and Azad tried to rebuild the Northamptonshire innings.

Azad and Broad put on a much needed partnership for the 2XI and Azad reached his half century in the 34th over, hitting nine fours on the way.

However, Azad couldn’t continue build on his half century, as he fell two overs later for 51 off of 117 deliveries.

Broad and James Sales saw out the last 20 overs of the day, with Broad finishing the day on an unbeaten 47 as Northamptonshire head in to the last day on 157/4, trailing Worcestershire by 80 runs.