Wakely, Newton give Northants edge
Northamptonshire 356 and 176 for 5 (Wakely 61*) lead Hampshire 276 (Evans 4-38) by 256 runs
Alex Wakely and Rob Newton each scored half-centuries as Northamptonshire tightened their grip on Hampshire at the end of the third day at West End. Newton struck a rapid 59 and Wakely was 61 not out at the close as Northants reached 176 for 5 in their second innings, a lead of 256 runs.
Only home captain Jimmy Adams batted with any resolution when Hampshire began the second day 125 for 2 in response to the Northants' first-innings total of 356. Adams' third-wicket partner Liam Dawson was out without adding to his overnight 19 and James Vince continued his wretched first-class season when he was out two overs later for 4.
Pace bowler Luke Evans dismissed them both to leg-before decisions and then David Willey reduced Hampshire to 176 for 6 by bowling Sean Ervine and winning another lbw appeal against Adams, who faced 184 balls for his 73, an innings which included 13 fours, but resistance after his departure was only sporadic.
Evans came back to get rid of Chris Wood and Northants captain Andrew Hall polished off the Hampshire tail. Hall had Michael Bates caught at second slip by David Sales for 28, Kabir Ali caught at the wicket for a breezy 31 and then last man David Balcombe at 276. That gave Northants a substantial first-innings lead of 80 on a wicket which continued to help the quicker bowlers.
Hall finished with 3 for 35, but for former Durham bowler Evans the day was a personal triumph, finishing with career-best figures of 4 for 38.
Northants did not make the best of starts as they hastened to build on their first-innings success with Stephen Peters out in Ali's first over and Niall O'Brien following to a catch at the wicket in the eighth. When Sales fell to a catch by Vince in the slips off Balcombe, Northants were 62 for 3. But then came a decisive stand of 99 in only 16 overs between Newton and Wakely as the Hampshire attack appeared to run out of ideas.
Newton hit Ali for six and then did the same to successive deliveries from James Tomlinson, smiting nine fours also from 41-ball innings which turned the match in Northants' favour. Tomlinson had Newton caught in the slips before Hall departed, but Wakely and James Middlebrook saw their side through to stumps in an unbroken stand of 15.