Skipper Alex Wakely, Josh Cobb and Adam Rossington all enjoyed some useful batting practice as Northamptonshire dodged the showers on the second day of their first-class opener against Oxford MCCU in The Parks.

And it was Rossington who enlivened the final stages of a damp and chilly day weatherwise with an entertaining unbeaten half-century.

The County closed on 167-3 in reply to the students’ 271 all out – a total boosted to an unexpected degree by last pair Jack McIver and Johnny Marsden who added 62 frustrating runs in 14 overs, after early strikes from Josh Cobb and Olly Stone left Oxford struggling on 209-9.

McIver and Marsden kept Northamptonshire in the field longer than they would have been expecting until Richard Gleeson ended the partnership by bowling McIver.  Stone finished with 4-57 and Gleeson claimed 3-33.

The County’s reply began in disappointing fashion when Ben Duckett perished to the fifth ball of the innings for a duck, leg-before to home captain Sam Weller.

Fellow opener Rob Newton’s departure for 17 left Northamptonshire in trouble at 34-2 – but Wakely led the recovery with 48 off 90 balls, including a six and six fours, as he and Cobb shared a third-wicket stand worth 76.

Then Rossington took charge, hammering his unbeaten 50 from just 55 deliveries and completely dominating a 57-run stand with the patient Cobb who was just one run shy of his half-century at the close.

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