Liddle backing Northants attack after tough day against title-chasers

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Chris Liddle backed the effort of the Northants bowlers on day two of their clash with title-chasing Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl - but admitted the home side 'got away' in a damaging afternoon session.

After a brief 30-minute morning session that was cut short by rain, Hampshire, who are second in the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One table, resumed at 2pm on 273 for six, and then immediately lost a wicket when Luke Procter dismissed Keith Barker to leave them 273 for seven.

Less than two hours and 20 overs later, Hampshire were declaring on 400 for nine, with Aneurin Donald having hit an explosive 94 from 87 balls, and tail-ender Kyle Abbott 57 from 45.

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Not even the ever-reliable Ben Sanderson and Jack White could escape the blitz as Hampshire chanced their arm, and it paid big dividends to put their team in the box seat with two days still to play.

Emilio Gay ended a tough day at Hampshire on 31 not outEmilio Gay ended a tough day at Hampshire on 31 not out
Emilio Gay ended a tough day at Hampshire on 31 not out

"The momentum was with them," admitted Liddle.

"I think Donald batted superbly and then the lads batted with freedom around him and put some pressure on us.

"At times we bowled well and held it and then at times they got away from us and scored a fair few boundaries and put themselves in a really strong position.

"On a different day with a bit more fortune a couple of chances could have gone to hand, but sometimes that is the game.

It was another wicketless day for Lizaad WilliamsIt was another wicketless day for Lizaad Williams
It was another wicketless day for Lizaad Williams

"But I can't knock the bowlers for their efforts."

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Sanderson ended with three for 68 from 23 overs and White two for 70 from 21, while there were also a couple of wickets for Procter - although they cost him 51 runs in nine overs.

South African Lizaad Williams' debut bowling performance for the club saw him finish with none for 98 from 20 overs.

There was a good finish to the day for Northants though as they closed on 77 for one from 26 overs in reply, with Emilio Gay unbeaten on 31. Skipper Will Young was the man out for 27.

"We are happy with the way we finished the day with the bat," said Liddle.

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"They are a top bowling attack and our lads really applied themselves.

"Emilio and Youngy put on a nice partnership and set a nice platform for us.

"We need to apply ourselves, put partnerships together and knock off the runs, but it is hard for both teams when it is stop-start."