Ben Sanderson brought up an epic milestone as he took his 500th wicket for Northamptonshire across all formats during their rain-affected draw against Leicestershire.

The veteran seamer now has 366 first-class wickets, 53 List A and 81 T20 dismissals to climb up Northamptonshire’s all-time wicket taking list.

Leicestershire replied to Northamptonshire’s first-innings 453 for seven declared with 452 for eight declared in a contest that had seen only 37 overs bowled on Saturday and a complete wash-out on Sunday. Handscomb was Leicestershire’s top scorer, although he missed out on a 23rd career first-class century and a third for the county when he suffered the self-inflicted agony of being run-out on 99 after some brilliant work in the field by Karun Nair.

Ahmed made 85, with Louis Kimber scoring 65 and Tom Scriven 54 not out as the two sides claimed 15 points each, enough to put them first and second in the table, although the first four rounds have produced only two positive results across the whole division.

Lanky fast bowler George Scrimshaw took his first two wickets since moving from Derbyshire to Wantage Road and veteran seamer Ben Sanderson raised his wickets tally for Northamptonshire to 500 in all senior formats, although the visitors’ day was also notable in a less positive way as captain Luke Procter accrued a five-run penalty against his team when he struck Ahmed on the leg with the ball in attempting to run him out off his own bowling.

Procter, fielding in his follow-through, felt he was within his rights to take a shy at the stumps as the batter stepped out of his crease but umpires Ben Debenham and Jack Shantry ruled that he had thrown the ball “in an inappropriate or dangerous manner” in contravention of Law 42 in the game’s rule book.

Scrimshaw’s wickets came inside his first three overs of the day and reduced Leicestershire to 142 for four only 11 overs after the resumption, giving rise to thoughts that they might struggle to avoid being asked to follow on after resuming 356 in arrears.

A perceived white ball specialist in his career so far, Scrimshaw is keen to prove himself an all-formats player. He struck with his second delivery, pushing Lewis Hill back in his crease to win an lbw verdict, following up by having Kimber caught behind defending off a thin outside edge.

But on essentially a good batting surface, Northamptonshire were not able to turn the screw.  Handscomb took every chance offered to test the pace of the outfield following Sunday’s soaking and found that it had not suffered as much as might have been imagined, passing 50 from 54 balls with his ninth boundary.

Unruffled by the incident with Procter, possibly even fired up by it, Ahmed was soon adding to the flow of boundaries. He was spilled at first slip off the medium pace of James Sales on 48 before completing his half-century from 59 balls with seven fours, marking the achievement with a six over deep midwicket off Saif Zaib’s left-arm spin.

Both looked good for hundreds but Ahmed perished 15 runs short, attempting to loft Sanderson over mid-on but not connecting cleanly enough, giving Scrimshaw an easy catch.

Sanderson struck again two balls later as new man Ben Cox edged into the slips, the catch completed by Emilio Gay at second after Ricardo Vasconcelos had failed to gather at third.

The Handscomb-Ahmed partnership had added 167 in a little over 32 overs and made sure the follow-on would be avoided.

Ahmed’s disappointment was almost certainly trumped by Handscomb’s after the manner of his demise. The Australian right-hander moved into the 90s with three boundaries in a single Scrimshaw over but was still there an hour later, unable to keep the strike for more than two deliveries at a time in that period.

Handscomb’s patience is rarely tested but this time it cracked and he paid the price, chancing a single off Zaib that was clearly high risk and beaten to the non-striker’s end by Karun Nair’s direct hit from short midwicket. It was the first time in 440 senior matches that Handscomb had been out for 99.

Sanderson reached his 500 milestone by having Ben Green caught at first slip but more positive batting from all-rounders Scott Currie (44) and Scriven (54) added 92 for the ninth wicket to seal maximum batting points for their side with 11 balls to spare before handshakes were offered on the draw.