Seamers put Northants on top
Northamptonshire 136 for 2 v Leicestershire 168
Northamptonshire made an impressive return to County Championship action, totally dominating the first day of the match against Leicestershire at Grace Road. The Division Two leaders dismissed bottom-of-the-table Leicestershire for 168 with Lee Daggett and David Lucas claiming four wickets a piece before Stephen Peters hit an unbeaten 76 as Northamptonshire closed 32 runs behind on 136 for 2.
Both wickets were taken by Leicestershire captain Matthew Hoggard, who bowled Ben Howgego for 26 and had Rob White caught behind for 22. Peters, dropped at slip on 54, shared an opening partnership of 83 with Howgego and reached his half-century off 65 balls with eight boundaries as he turned the screws on the hosts.
Leicestershire would have been in an even worse plight but for a half-century from Wayne White, who shared a sixth-wicket stand of 80 with Tom New. But they lost their last five wickets for 13 runs in six overs and Peters' solid innings in reply put his side in complete command.
There was little sign of the problems to come when Leicestershire's openers Will Jefferson and Matt Boyce put on 39 in 13 overs. Then Boyce was undone by a yorker from Daggett that knocked back his middle stump, the dismissal triggering a sudden collapse that saw five wickets tumble for 36 runs.
Daggett struck twice more having Jefferson caught at midwicket and Andrew McDonald snapped up behind the stumps while Greg Smith was bowled as he pushed forward to a full-length delivery from Andrew Hall. A moment of misjudgement cost James Taylor dearly when he was given out lbw offering no shot to a ball from Jack Brooks that would certainly have hit the stumps.
It left Leicestershire in disarray at 75 for 5 before a bright and positive sixth-wicket stand between White and New put the brakes on Northamptonshire's progress. The aggressive White was the dominant force hammering 10 boundaries in a 77-ball half-century.
But having put on 80 runs in 20 overs New carved a catch to point off Lucas and Leicestershire's recovery ground to a halt with the last five wickets contributing little. White was out for 54 top-edging a catch as he tried to pull a short ball from Lucas and the tailenders all went cheaply. Lucas finished with 4 for 55 and Daggett 4 for 35.