Sadler bemoans 'below par' showing from Northants bowlers at Hampshire

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John Sadler felt the Northants bowling attack endured a 'below par' opening day in their LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

The head coach was left frustrated after the home side closed a truncated day on 229 for five, with Northants having won the toss and inserted Hampshire on a green-tinged pitch.

Jack White was the pick of the County attack, claiming two for 35 from his 15 overs, while Ben Sanderson was also his usual miserly self, ending the day with one for 27 from 15.

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There was also a wicket apiece for Tom Taylor and Luke Procter, but they, along with Lizaad Williams, on his County debut, and Rob Keogh struggled to find their rhythm as runs came too easily on a tricky surface.

Lizaad Williams went wicketless on his first day's play as a Northamptonshire playerLizaad Williams went wicketless on his first day's play as a Northamptonshire player
Lizaad Williams went wicketless on his first day's play as a Northamptonshire player

Opener Felix Organ top-scored for Hampshire, hitting 71, before Liam Dawson (43no) and Aneurin Donald (29no) then lifted their team from a what looked a precarious 167 for five.

"We would have liked a couple more wickets after winning the toss and bowling, especially with our bowling attack and the class we've got in there," said Sadler.

"I think over the course of the day we were just below par for our standards.

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"We didn't quite find our lengths and bowled a few too many four balls - which we haven't done too much of this year.

"I thought Felix Organ stuck it out well and there were a couple of shouts for caught behind where we all went up and wasn't given but that is the game."

The match was delayed for three hours either side of midday due to rain, and more wet weather is forecase for the Southampton area in the coming days.

That can obviously be a frustration for all cricketers, but Sadler isn't going to use it as any kind of excuse for his team's inconsistent showing.

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"I'll sound like one of my old coaches from 20 years ago, but we don't need to worry about rain," said the head coach.

"It is hard not to, but it is dangerous to think 'it is going to be okay because it is going to rain'.

"Whether that was a contributing factor to today, I don't know, but we have to turn up and we can't control the weather."

Hampshire are still in with a chance of winning the Championship, and although opener Organ also admitted concern over the weather, he was pleased with his own performance on day one

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"We would have bowled so to lose the toss and batting we would have taken that," he said.

"The pitch is quite green, we left a bit of grass on it, as we are pushing for a result and rain may come.

"We need to take 20 wickets. We can't control the rain.

"When it is our time to ball we have our plans and hopefully get all the wickets, but If we can't get out and play there is nothing we can do."