Rain frustrates Northants in opening pre-season friendly at Hampshire

Although the rain had the final say, Northants can be pleased with their first pre-season work out against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 6:37 pm
Updated Friday, 26th March 2021, 6:40 pm
Gareth Berg claimed three wickets against his former club in Northants' opening pre-season friendly

After the weather reduced the first day's play to 50 overs on Thursday, only 30 were possible on Friday's second and final day, but there were still a couple of decent performances for the County.

With the bat, Emilio Gay looked the most at home, easing himself to an unbeaten 22 from 51 balls as Northants declared on 151 for five from their overnight 102 for two.

Skipper Adam Rossington was also unbeaten on 12, with the wickets to fall being those of Charlie Thurston (12), Alex Wakely (16) and Rob Keogh (11).

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After a rain break, Hampshire went out for their second innings and were 17 for one from six overs when more of the wet stuff ended play for the day.

Wicket-taker for the County was Gareth Berg, who dismissed opener Ian Holland for a second-ball duck, the former Hampshire man adding to his two wickets on day one.

So it may not have been the two full days play Northants head coach David Ripley will have been hoping for, but there were still positives to take.

Speaking after the first day's play, bowling coach Chris Liddle was certainly happy with the attack's efforts and performance.

“Unfortunately with the weather around and a delayed start we were restricted to only 25 overs in the field, but I thought we made good use of those 25 overs," said Liddle.

“Each bowler got a decent spell in and although there was the occasional match rustiness, we pretty much delivered what we set out to do.”

“We talked about this being another step closer to being ready for the 8th of April and being able to control what we’ve worked on in training and not let emotions or scoreboard take over will be important.

“Our challenge was hitting our areas and making it tough for the opposition and I think taking five wickets either bowled or LBW showed we were able to do that more times than not.”

Northants are building towards that opening LV= County Championship clash against Kent in under two weeks' time, and they are back in action behind closed doors at the County Ground on Monday.

The club are staging an intra-squad match over two days, with all of the players involved.