Wakely: Northants have huge momentum after win at Leicestershire

Alex Wakely and Richard Levi were all smiles after steering Northants to victory against Leicestershire on Friday afternoon (picture: Peter Short)
Alex Wakely and Richard Levi were all smiles after steering Northants to victory against Leicestershire on Friday afternoon (picture: Peter Short)

Alex Wakely says Northants now have 'huge' momentum as they aim to earn promotion from Specsavers County Championship Division Two.

Wakely hit an unbeaten 44 in the second innings at Grace Road on Friday to help seal a seven-wicket win for the County against Leicestershire.

It moved David Ripley's men up to second in the standings, and with three teams going up this year, Northants are now in a great position.

They host Durham next week before going to Gloucestershire for the final fixture of the campaign.

And Wakely said: “We worked hard for this (the win at Leicestershire).

"Four-day wins generally mean more than one-day wins because you have to fight your way through difficult spells, and at times it wasn't easy.

“The same was true this morning. They bowled quite well, used a couple of spinners and we had to bide our time and get over the line.

"It was all about the win, it didn't matter how we got there.

“I feel in decent touch, I'm enjoying batting without the pressures of captaincy, playing with a smile on my face. But everything is easy when you're winning!

“That said, momentum is huge, we're playing with a lot of confidence, the balance of the team looks good and we're in a very good position.

"It's in our hands now, and next week against Durham is a massive game.

"We want to finish second if we possibly can.”

Northants bowled Leicestershire out for 308 in the first innings and then just 189 in the second.

And the home side were eventually well beaten on the final day as Ben Curran set the tone with 40 and Wakely and Richard Levi (11no) finished the job.

Leicestershire head coach Paul Nixon said: “We're disappointed, we've been outbowled in this game.

"The Northamptonshire seamers bowled relentlessly in good areas, whereas we were too short or too full, we leaked runs too often, didn't build enough pressure.

“It's frustrating because 308 first up after being put in was a very good score, and we didn't back it up in our second innings.

"Their disciplined bowling outshone our batting. We have to learn from that.

“There were positives for us in some of the individual performances, but they are flying high in the table for a reason.

"They are doing the basics very, very well, they have a lot of belief and those are the standards we have to meet to compete.”