Wakely misses ton but keeps Northants level
Leicestershire 313 and 52 for 0 v Northamptonshire 312
Alex Wakely came within a whisker of a century on the second day of Northamptonshire's finely-poised County Championship match against Leicestershire at Wantage Road. After the league leaders slumped to 70 for 5, Wakely made 98 off 165 balls as his side were bowled out for 312 - one run short of their opponents' first innings total.
Wayne White and Australia international Andrew McDonald took three wickets each before Leicestershire closed on 52 for 0 with the match very much in the balance.
Northants began the day 281 runs behind their opponents, with their openers, Stephen Peters and Ben Howgego, resuming on 26 and 6 respectively. But Peters was to last just two balls before he was well caught at third slip by Matthew Boyce off the bowling of Leicestershire captain Matthew Hoggard.
And Howgego was removed on 10 when he edged White (3 for 92) to wicketkeeper Paul Dixey and Rob White soon followed when he nudged Nadeem Malik to the same player. McDonald (3 for 51) then took the wicket of David Sales (15) with his first over of the day when he was slashed to Will Jefferson at second slip.
Northants captain Andrew Hall made just five before going cheaply by nudging McDonald's wide delivery to Dixey to leave the hosts reeling. James Middlebrook survived a huge scare when he was dropped at mid-off by Malik off White, but went two balls later after cracking 42 off 48 balls by edging the same bowler to Dixey.
But Wakely stuck around to complete his half-century off 92 balls as he and Chaminda Vaas stabilised their side's innings with a seventh-wicket stand of 96. Wakely was to agonisingly fall two runs short of a deserved century when McDonald's delivery went through his defences and took out his leg stump in the third over before tea.
Hoggard took the second new ball as soon as it became available and with the second delivery, he forced Northants wicketkeeper David Murphy (22) to edge to Jefferson at second slip. Vaas was to depart on 46 in the next over when he launched White to Hoggard at midwicket before Malik ended the innings by taking out David Lucas' (24) off stump.
Leicestershire managed to get off to a better start in their second innings than they did with their first, where they were reduced to 15 for 3. Their openers, Jefferson and Boyce, comfortably survived 18 overs and will resume on 15 and 36 respectively.