Northants beaten by Worcestershire in New Road thriller

Ben Sanderson was in the wickets again, but Northants were beaten (picture: Peter Short)
Ben Sanderson was in the wickets again, but Northants were beaten (picture: Peter Short)

Northants suffered their third defeat of the County Championship Division Two season in dramatic fashion at New Road.

After both captains agreed to try to conjure a result, Northants set Worcestershire a victory target of 401.

And the home side chased it down with just an over remaining as Joe Leach’s unbeaten 33 steered them to a stunning victory.

It was Worcestershire’s fourth highest run chase of all time and it left Northants deflated after Ben Sanderson had put them in the hunt for victory.

Sanderson claimed four wickets for 74 runs during the hosts’ second innings as he threatened to spark a collapse from 268 for two to 275 for five.

But Leach held his nerve to ensure Worcestershire would claim the win they desperately wanted to keep their promotion hopes alive.

Northants had made a huge 551 all out in their first innings, with Rob Keogh, Steven Crook and Chad Barrett all hitting centuries.

Worcestershire made 201 for three before declaring on the final day as the captains agreed to try to ensure the game didn’t finish in a draw.

Northants racked up a rapid 50 for one in their second innings before declaring to leave Worcestershire needing 401 to win.

And centuries from skipper Daryl Mitchell and Joe Clarke set them up for the win before Leach left it late to secure an impressive triumph.