Northamptonshire extended their unbeaten run to 9 games to claim second place and promotion from Division 2. 

Coming in to the fixture needing just 4 points to ensure they couldn’t be shifted from the three promotion places on offer, Northamptonshire were unphased by an unfriendly Bristol forecast. The same could be said for opponents Gloucestershire, who sat in third place before the encounter and needed just a handful of points themselves.

The predicted rain saw just 73 overs bowled across the four days, offering enough time for Northamptonshire to claim 7 wickets – six of them falling on the first morning. However ultimately the fate and promotion of both sides wasn’t decided at Bristol, but 285 miles away at the Emirates Riverside in Durham. With Glamorgan the only side capable of pulling off an unlikely upset, the early abandonment on Day 4 prompted celebrations from both dressing rooms at Bristol. 

There’d be no play on Day 4, heavy overnight rain only adding to the issues that had seen such little cricket played in the 3 days before it. It’s safe to say that sat just fine with the players however, who were quick to share a drink and each others successes in the home dressing room.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my career,” revealed Northants batsman Alex Wakely. “We get on really well with the Gloucestershire boys and for us both to be promoted on the same day while playing one another is a great feeling.

“There was no hesitation. Even before we knew our game was off, we went into their dressing room to congratulate them on being promoted. Once our game was also abandoned, we all mixed together and shared a few beers. 

“It’s a great atmosphere in there, something really special, because we’re two teams that nobody really expected to do this well.”