Adam Rossington’s rear-guard blitz followed by a Ben Sanderson onslaught put Northamptonshire on top in bowler-friendly of conditions on Day 1 against Durham.

With a slightly delayed start thanks to gloomy conditions at The County Ground, Durham elected not to contest the toss and asked Northamptonshire to bat. Openers Curran and Newton made a bright start as the pair batted through the opening 10 overs without loss. The partnership moved to 50 before extra bounce off a length found the edge of Newton’s bat for 26.

Wakely joined Curran and the pair pushed on, both striking a number of attractive boundaries through the morning session. The mizzle that had persisted through much of the morning strengthened on the brink of the lunch, the players walking off the field a couple of minutes early with the score at 75 for 1.

Progress again looked promising after the break, though the partnership ended on 49 when Rushworth found some movement off the pitch with Wakely bowled shouldering arms. This sparked somewhat of a collapse for Northamptonshire, losing 6 for 40 as the ball began to jag around. Adam Rossington stood tall to play a potentially vital captain’s knock, peppering the short boundary with a powerful counter-attacking display.

5 times Rossington dropped to his knee to slog sweep over the short boundary, launching 2 other maximums in his 70-ball 82. Carse took most of the damage, Rossington launching 27 off one over to begin his assault, though it was Rushworth who went the furthest as the Northamptonshire skipper sent him out of The County Ground over the Michael Graham stand. Rossington’s rear-guard gave Northamptonshire a batting bonus point and something for the bowlers to work with in favourable conditions.

The bowlers took the opportunity with both hands as Durham fell to 37 for 4 by the close of play. Ben Sanderson opened his account for the match thanks to a sharp catch by Hutton at third slip. A change of ends prompted his second wicket, Lees walking down the wicket and looking to whip through midwicket but only managing an edge to Wakely at first.

Gareth Berg then joined in as he found some notable late inswing from the Wantage Road end and slammed into the front pad of Watling, the finger up in no time. It was Sanderson again to take the last wicket before light deteriorated, the finger up again as a ball nipped back into the pads of Robson. Bad light halted proceedings though with 17 overs left in the day, Durham trailing by 180 runs with 6 wickets in hand.

Northamptonshire 217 (Rossington 82, Curran 36)

Durham 37/4 (Sanderson 3/20, Berg 1/3)

Full scorecard.