Vasconcelos has a day to remember as Northants gain the upper hand against rivals Yorkshire
Ricardo Vasconcelos had reasons to celebrate as Northants dominated a rain-affected day one of their vital LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Yorkshire at the County Ground on Sunday.
Acting captain Vasconcelos was presented with his county cap before play by injured skipper Adam Rossington and then claimed three catches behind the stumps as Yorkshire stumbled to 158 all out
Rob Keogh and Tom Taylor proved the pick of the Northants attack with two for eight and two for 14 respectively, while the visitors would have been in a far more perilous position without a career-best 71 from youngster George Hill.
The County closed 61 for two in reply around a second break for rain with Vasconcelos 32 not out.
Yorkshire skipper Steven Patterson won the toss and chose to bat first on a biscuit coloured pitch with little grass, but it didn’t take the hosts long to strike, Adam Lyth edging Ben Sanderson through to Vasconcelos without scoring .
Sam Northeast, signed on a short-term deal after leaving Hampshire, also missed out as caught in two minds he edged Taylor’s fourth ball to give a diving Vasconcelos his second catch of the day.
Rain forced an early lunch before Yorkshire suffered self-inflicted wounds, Garry Ballance smearing across the line to be caught at backward point, while Harry Brook chipped the same bowler, Simon Kerrigan, to mid-wicket.
Vasconcelos’s third catch came from the edge of Dominic Bess’s bat – Gareth Berg the bowler – before the frugal Taylor returned to pin Harry Duke in front.
As others came and went Hill, promoted to open for the first time for the White Rose county in just his fourth first-class game, stood tall hitting the pitched up ball back past the bowler, while being quick to pull anything banged in short.
He was given a life on 31 when Berg shelled a catch at slip from his first loose drive, Wayne Parnell the aggrieved bowler, to reach 50 off 104 balls with his seventh four before hitting Kerrigan for a towering straight six.
By the time he was seventh out lbw to Keogh, the 20-year-old had left a lasting impression
Jordan Thompson hit some defiant blows in his 22 before he was last out, the second of two late scalps for Parnell.
Vasconcelos and Emilio Gay added 50 in reply before Bess trapped the latter lbw and nightwatchman Kerrigan perished to a lifting ball from Patterson just before stumps.
Seamer Tom Taylor said: "We'd have preferred leading into the game to bat first and try not to bat last on a used wicket, but with the overhead conditions I don't think it was a bad thing we lost the toss.
"I was bowling from the bottom end into a bit of a wind and I tried to dry up an end and luckily nipped one passed Sam Northeast.
"It was a great day for Ricardo getting his county cap which was well deserved.
"Standing in for Adam (Rossington) he has big shoes to fill behind the stumps as Adam is fantastic with the gloves, but we've every confidence in him.
"I wouldn't go as far as to say we need to bat once, but we certainly need to get as many as possible to make the chase better.
"It's one of the most important games we'll have this season. It was a big target to get into the top group and we're one day closer to achieving that."