David Ripley praised match-winning bowlers Brett Hutton and Ben Sanderson after Northants saw off Gloucestershire by 10 wickets to claim their first Specsavers County Championship Division Two win of the season on Friday.
But the head coach also hailed the all-round performance from his team who, until Saturday at least, climbed off the bottom of the table.
Hutton and Sanderson claimed 14 wickets between them as Gloucestershire were bowled out for 62 and 250, with Hutton claiming career-best figures of eight for 57 in the second innings and match figures of nine for 63.
Sanderson nabbed a five-wicket haul as Gloucester were shot out in the first innings, and the pair’s efforts meant Northants, who posted 282 in their first innings thanks to half-centuries from Luke Procter, Ben Duckett and Richard Levi, needed just 31 to win in their second innings, and Duckett hammered a quickfire 32 not out to see them home.
“We’ve played very well this week, we’ve been disappointed in the Championship so far but we showed if we play somewhere near our best cricket we’re capable of winning games,” said Ripley, who had seen his team lose four of their first five Championship matches of the season, with the other one being a complete washout.
“Ben and Brett will take the headlines but the whole attack did their bit and added to the pressure and they never got away from us.
“We took the majority of our catches as well, the surface offered a bit more carry which brought the cordon into play so a great effort from the groundsman as well.
“We now need to back up this performance now at Cardiff and it’s about building the confidence up and we can take that into the T20s too.”
Gloucestershire head coach Richard Dawson was making no excuses for his team, and admitted: “We’ve been outplayed, and it’s more to do with the ball as it wasn’t a 280 wicket.
“We didn’t exert any pressure with the ball, we bowled two sides of the wicket and the wrong length.
“We were a bit more up for the fight in the second innings, but day one we were behind the eight ball and couldn’t recover from that.”
Northants return to County Championship action on Monday when they travel to Cardiff to take on Glamorgan.