August 12, 2012

LV= County Championship, Sunday 12 August

6.10pm: Jon Culley at Northamptonshire v Leicestershire

6.10pm: Jon Culley at Northamptonshire v Leicestershire

Fingers crossed that the rain does not ruin things but we could be on for a decent final day at Wantage Road, where Northamptonshire closed day three with a lead of 311 in pursuit of a win that will put them in contention for a promotion place in Division Two.

Stephen Peters and Niall O'Brien gave them another terrific start with their second century opening stand of the match, Peters allowing himself the liberty of a couple of sixes in his 56 off 110 balls, O'Brien collecting 10 boundaries in his 96-ball 79. Leicestershire's bowling left a good deal to be desired at times.

Except, that is, for Will Jones, an Australian-born Cardiff University student who bowls leg spin. This is his second Championship match and the first in which he has bowled but his introduction by skipper Josh Cobb in the 34th over brought wickets with his fifth and seventh balls as Peters knocked back a straightforward return catch and O'Brien holed out to deep midwicket, where Robbie Joseph needed a bit of juggling to bring the ball under control but did finally hold on.

Jones then held a catch of his own as David Sales sent up a steepler off Claude Henderson, but the ball is now in Northamptonshire's court.

3.55pm: Jon Culley at Northamptonshire v Leicestershire

Northamptonshire have extended their first-innings lead by 55 at tea without too much trouble, even though the pitch is getting a little tricky, with uneven bounce beginning to become a factor. Peters is 20 and O'Brien 31.

The suggestion voiced by my friend from the Leicester Mercury that Northants could declare now is perhaps a little harsh but after years of tracking the Foxes in decline his confidence in them is not what it was.

Joking aside, the weather forecast for Monday afternoon is not terrific, so it might be in Northants' interests to push on this evening. Not that 55 off 15 overs is exactly snail's pace.

3pm: David Lloyd at Sussex v Middlesex

It will not have escaped the attention of Sussex supporters that their team lost eight wickets in scoring the 94 runs needed to beat Durham at Arundel three weeks ago...

Here, the target had b