All four results were on the table deep into the final hour as Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire played out a draw in the opening round of the LV= Insurance County Championship.

An enthralling fourth day mirrored a match that has ebbed and flowed between the two sides with Northamptonshire switching from all out attack to all out defence in the final five overs.

Beginning the day with a lead of 261, Gloucestershire could only add a further 37 thanks largely to Ben Sanderson. The seamer extended his tally to nine for the match as he picked up Higgins, Taylor and Shah inside the first hour. Nathan Buck accounting for Zafar Gohar to set up a chase of 299 in 82 overs.

Northamptonshire were watchful out of the gate on a pitch that showed assistance for the new ball and spun from the start. Vasconcelos looked in handy touch but edged behind on the stroke of lunch, his opening partner Emilio Gay falling the same way to Taylor after the resumption.

Ben Curran can consider himself unlucky to have been adjudged LBW, but his departure welcomed a productive Saif Zaib to the crease who, along with first-innings centurion Rob Keogh, emerged from tea with a clear intention. The pair added 89 in 128 deliveries, Zaib in particular looking fluent for his 65 with a combination of crisp driving and hard sweeps.

When the left-hander miscued an attempt to find another gear, it was Keogh and Cobb who continued the charge. Keogh raising a second half century of the match as the target reached double figures. Northamptonshire wobbled late in the day however, losing 4 for 32 in the quest for sharp runs to seal victory.

Higgins struck twice in consecutive deliveries leaving Taylor and Buck to drop anchor to the close. Northamptonshire tantalisingly close to victory, but with the target just out of reach, having to settle for 13 points.

Gloucestershire 223 (Sanderson 4/66, Berg 2/39) & 363 (Sanderson 5/66, Berg 3/52)
Northamptonshire 288 (Keogh 113, Berg 66) & 272/8 (Keogh 74, Zaib 65)

Full scorecard.