Coetzer knock lifts Northamptonshire
Leicestershire 38 for 2 (Vaas 2-4) trail Northamptonshire 352 for 7 (Coetzer 120, Wakely 63) by 314 runs
A century from Kyle Coetzer helped Northamptonshire pocket four batting bonus points in their rain-affected Division Two clash with Leicestershire at Grace Road. Alex Wakely also chipped in with a solid 63, before allrounder David Willey hit a quickfire 45, allowing Northants to declare.
That left Leicestershire with 16 overs to negotiate before the close and they were soon in trouble, losing two early wickets. Chaminda Vaas, the former Sri Lanka bowler, bagged them both, dismissing Greg Smith and Kadeer Ali, via edges to wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien, as the home side reached stumps on 38 for 2.
With more than a day and a half already lost to the weather, there seemed little else left in the match other than a battle for bonus points. At least conditions were much brighter at the start of the third day, although there was still a delay of 35 minutes to complete mopping-up operations, before Northants could resume on 99 for 3.
Coetzer, on 43, took another 39 balls to reach his 50 as he and Wakely carefully added to their fourth-wicket partnership. They looked in little trouble, and Wakely reached his half-century off 95 balls with four boundaries. The stand went past the 100 mark before the introduction of offspinner Josh Cobb finally brought Leicestershire a wicket.
Wakely, surprised by a low full toss, popped up an easy return catch to Cobb but Coetzer continued to bat with confidence and purpose, reaching his first century for Northants with a glorious cover drive to the boundary off Robbie Joseph. It was his 12th four, and another five followed in rapid succession before Nathan Buck, playing his first Championship game of the season after a back injury, snapped up two wickets in an over.
Andrew Hall pulled a long hop to midwicket and Coetzer edged to second slip before O'Brien fell cheaply, but James Middlebrook and Willey joined forces in an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 61 in 10 overs. Willey struck five fours and two massive sixes in his sparkling innings, while were two wickets each for Leicestershire seamers Matthew Hoggard, Joseph and Buck.