Northants v Gloucestershire, Northampton, 3rd day May 25, 2012

Northamptonshire build commanding lead

Northamptonshire 411 and 246 for 5 lead Gloucestershire 268 by 389 runs

Northamptonshire took an iron grip on the third day of their County Championship match against Gloucestershire despite an unbeaten century by the visitors' Hamish Marshall.

Gloucestershire managed to avoid the follow-on before they were bowled out for 268 with former New Zealand international Marshall making a brilliant 117 not out from 196 balls. Northants then extended their lead to 389 as they closed on 246 for 5 with Scotland international Kyle Coetzer making 86 off 127 deliveries including two huge sixes over midwicket.

Gloucestershire began the day on 156 for 6, 255 runs behind their opponents and needing another 106 to avoid the follow-on, with Marshall resuming on 49 and wicketkeeper Jonathan Batty on 9. Marshall quickly completed his half-century off 105 balls with a single off David Willey with the sixth ball of the day.

Batty, however, was unable to add to his overnight score before he walked when he was caught by his opposite number David Murphy after edging Lee Daggett.

Ed Young failed to score off five deliveries before he was trapped lbw by Willey but Marshall and Ian Saxelby hung in to add 90 for the ninth wicket. This set a new Gloucestershire record against Northants, going past the previous best of 84 made between David Graveney and Brian Brain at Bristol in 1981.

Marshall completed his 20th first-class century off 165 balls but Saxelby was to perish on 30 when he was pinned lbw by Con de Lange. James Middlebrook finally brought the Gloucestershire innings to an end with the final ball before lunch when Liam Norwell edged him to Northants captain Andrew Hall at first slip.

Middlebrook threw his wicket away on 19, 18 overs into Northants second innings, when he chipped Will Gidman straight to Saxelby at mid-on. But fellow opener Stephen Peters completed his half-century in the third over after tea off 99 balls as Northants steadily extended their advantage.

But he departed on 58 when he gloved his attempted reverse sweep off New Zealand international Kane Williamson to Marshall at slip. Coetzer went on to reach 50 off 93 deliveries but his superb knock came to an end when he smashed Saxelby to Williamson at midwicket.

David Sales then retired hurt on 33 after seemingly pulling a muscle running a single towards the wicketkeeper's end. Alex Wakely was then stumped by Batty off Williamson before Willey launched the same bowler to Saxelby at deep square-leg with the last ball of the day.