Northamptonshire win but can only hope
Northamptonshire 343 and 27 for 1 beat Gloucestershire 183 and 185
David Willey took a match haul of 10 wickets as Northamptonshire thrashed Gloucestershire by nine wickets on the third day of their County Championship Division Two match at Wantage Road.
Promotion-chasers Northamptonshire bowled Gloucestershire out for 185 in the morning with Willey claiming two more victims to take figures of 5 for 46 and a magnificent 10 for 75 for the match.
The hosts were set a paltry target of 26 and, despite losing Rob Newton, they reached it within four overs to record their first home win since May. But even the emphatic result will probably not be enough to secure them promotion Surrey beating Derbyshire and Middlesex on well placed against Leicestershire.
Gloucestershire started the day on 84 for 5 in their second innings, following on after being bowled out for 183 yesterday, with captain Alex Gidman resuming on 6 and Hamish Marshall beginning his innings.
Alex Gidman was to move on to 27 before Willey broke through in the ninth over of the day when he forced him to edge to his Northamptonshire counterpart Andrew Hall at first slip. A four through backward point off James Middlebrook by Ian Cockbain ensured that the hosts would have to bat again but former New Zealand international Marshall was to perish on 42.
Striding down the pitch after a Middlebrook delivery, he was sharply stumped by Niall O'Brien. Chaminda Vaas then accounted for Cockbain, who made a brisk 23, in the next over when he was edged to Hall at first slip.
Willey then secured his maiden 10-wicket match haul and his fifth dismissal of the innings when he trapped Will Gidman lbw for five as soon as he was brought back on in the 51st over. With the next ball, Gloucestershire's innings was brought to an end and with it the final one for Jon Lewis after 16 years with the club before his move to Surrey next season.
Lewis had clubbed eight off two balls but he was on the receiving end of a brilliant piece of fielding by Newton at point, who threw a direct hit at the stumps.
Chasing 26, Northamptonshire were to lose Newton cheaply for four in the second over when he smashed Ian Saxelby straight to Marshall at backward point. But victory was secured two overs later when Kyle Coetzer, eight not out, struck four behind square leg off Saxelby with O'Brien unbeaten on 14.