Wakely wants Northants to 'show some fight' on final day at Kent

Skipper Alex Wakely wants Northants to 'show some fight' as his side battle to avoid defeat on the final day of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two game at Kent.

Thursday, 6th September 2018, 10:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th September 2018, 10:47 pm
Alex Wakely will try to help Northants avoid defeat on the final day at Canterbury (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

The County appear to be drifting towards defeat after finishing day three on 56 for three, with Wakely unbeaten on 17 and Richard Levi on five not out.

Northants are still 264 runs behind, having been bowled out for just 105 in their first innings and allowed Kent to make 287 all out in the home side's second innings.

Richard Gleeson was the star of the show with the ball for David Ripley's men, registering career-best figures of six for 79.

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But Northants are now really up against it as they head into the final day.

"It would have been a good game of cricket here had we have batted a fair bit better in the first innings," Wakely said. "At 40-odd for eight, or something stupid like that, you're always going to be behind in the game.

"I felt we bowled really well today, perhaps we weren't quite on it because we got hit both sides of the wicket a little bit, but Richard Gleeson showed the rest how it should be done.

"It's a good wicket if you scrap to get yourself in, but there are one or two balls an over that slightly misbehave.

"We're up against it, we've got a lot to do tomorrow and we've not shown that much fight in this game so far, so that's what we'll be trying to do first thing in the morning."

Kent bowling coach Allan Donald is confident his side can finish the job.

The South African said: "There was always a worry this morning, having hardly played the day before (only 19 balls were bowled on day two), as to what the pitch might be doing.

"Immediately, we could see it had settled down and was a little easier to bat than the first day.

"So for us to set them 320 to win represented a great fightback from our batsmen today.

"Once again, Joe Denly (who made 81) played outstandingly well and everybody else scrapped away to play a part.

"That's the brand of cricket we've played in the championship all season and the resillience we've shown has been very impressive.

"Chasing 300 on this pitch will never be an easy task, I say that respectfully, but I feel our attack has brought so much relentless pressure to this game and to have them three down going into tomorrow is a nice feeling and hopefully, if we show patience, we'll be able to seal the deal and close the game out."