Ripley rues the return of Northants' Achilles heel as they lose again

Head coach David Ripley feels Northants were made to pay for a lack of patience as their early-season struggles continued at the hands of Leicestershire.

Monday, 11th June 2018, 8:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:39 pm
David Ripley saw his side suffer another disappointing defeat (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Ripley's men were in a promising position heading into the third day of the County Championship Division Two clash at the County Ground.

But they went from 165 for three to 229 all out after losing seven wickets for just 53 runs in 19 overs.

That left Leicestershire with a victory target of 217, and they made it look easy as they cruised home by six wickets.

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It means Northants have now lost four of their opening five matches of the Championship season, with the other game a total washout against Durham.

The County sit bottom of the table with just 19 points to their name.

And Ripley said: “I thought we were ahead on points this morning and we needed a good first session to consolidate our lead and set 250 plus, but our old Achilles heel of losing wickets in clusters returned.

“The wicket didn’t completely flatten out but if you were prepared to knuckle down and play straight and be patient then it was a pitch you could stay in on, but we found ways to get out.

“We have played some decent cricket but we’re falling short in the key moments and ultimately we’re bottom of the table."

It was a far happier Leicestershire dressing room as they claimed back-to-back Championship victories for the first time since 2010.

And head coach Paul Nixon said: “We read the pitch perfectly.

"It nibbled about early on and then dried out and got better and better to bat on and the boys played beautifully and learned from the first innings.

“Lewis (Hill) and Paul (Horton) just played good, old-fashioned four-day cricket, just to accumulate with no time constraints and that’s what they did.

“We lost some discipline in the field last night but they responded brilliantly this morning and we put the ball in so many good areas."