But they were made to work hard under slate grey skies as the students dug in to make 180 for four in 60.2 overs before rain brought a premature end to proceedings.
With the County declaring on their overnight 530 for five, the bowlers finally got to take to the field on the final day of the three-day encounter.
And it wasn’t long before Northants were making inroads, with a terrible run out and a trademark dismissal from Ben Sanderson, tempting the opening batsman to edge behind to wicket-keeper Lewis McManus leaving Cardiff 26 for two.
Another needless run out saw Cardiff reduced to 42 for three, but then Richard Clarke and Max Tryfonus put on 105 for the fifth wicket before Clarke was caught behind off Luke Procter.
Left-hander Tryfonus continued to impress and was unbeaten on 66 when the match was declared a draw.
For Northants, seamer Sanderson claimed one for 23 from his 12.2 overs, while Procter finished with one for 25 from 11.
Other bowlers used were Nathan Buck (9.5-0-30-0), Tom Taylor (13-2-35-0), Simon Kerrigan (6-0-25-0) and Jack White (5-2-21-), while Gareth Berg was forced to withdraw from the action having sent down just 3.1 overs for 12 runs.
Northants are due back in pre-season friendly action on Thursday morning, weather permitting, when they host Durham in a two-day match behind closed doors at Wantage Road (start 11am).