Northants 'couldn't have asked for a better day' against Middlesex

Alex Wakely passed the half-century mark
Alex Wakely passed the half-century mark

Skipper Alex Wakely says Northants 'couldn't really have asked for a better day' after making a solid start to the season against Middlesex.

Wakely hit 76 and Adam Rossington (67) also passed the half-century mark as the County finished the first day of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash on 310 for six (96 overs).

New signing Jason Holder made a promising start to life at Northants as he finished the first day unbeaten on 36.

And Wakely said: “It’s a start but to start well was crucial and we couldn’t really have asked for a better day.

“One of the things we haven’t done in the last five years is just to bat time. We have’t got a hundred today but just to bat all day and give the bowlers a rest, is really pleasing.

“A lot of hard work has gone in over the winter, taking people out of their comfort zones and that showed today - people didn’t give it away.

Jason Holder finished the first day unbeaten

Jason Holder finished the first day unbeaten

“To sit in the dressing room at the end of the day and congratulate people, we have’t had that for a long time."

Tim Murtagh caused early problems for the County and eventually finished the first day with figures of four for 43.

And Murtagh said: “I think it’s a pretty good wicket for the first week of April.

"We had to work hard, we weren’t quite at our best but it could have gone differently - we dropped a catch and beat the bat quite a lot.

“We’ve got two guys who haven’t played a lot in the last 18 months so for them to get through 20-plus overs is quite a lot.

“We’ll all be better for the miles in our legs but we know what we need to do better."