Northants v Leicestershire, Northampton, 3rd day May 17, 2013

Copeland continues to make waves

ESPNcricinfo staff

Northamptonshire 355 (Hall 112, Newton 81, Willey 77, Freckingham 6-125) and 94 for 5 lead Leicestershire 234 ( Thakur 64*, Copeland 7-63) by 266 runs

Trent Copeland has only ever briefly attracted the interest of Australia's selectors but he is making waves in the Championship. He continued his excellent form with the ball by taking seven wickets on the third day of Northamptonshire's Division Two match with Leicestershire and has become a key figure in their promotion push.

Copeland returned 7 for 63 as Leicestershire were bowled out for 234, achieved thanks to an unbeaten 64 from 96 balls from the teenager Shiv Thakor. It may not be long before the bigger counties come sniffing.

Northants are by no means in an impregnable position with a day remaining. A late flurry of wickets - three in the last two overs - saw them close on 94 for 5, a lead of 215, with the impressive Ollie Freckingham taking 3 for 28 to add to his six first-innings dismissals.

Leicestershire began the day on 89 for 1, 266 runs behind their opponents, with opener Greg Smith resuming on 36 and Ned Eckersley on 16.Smith went on to complete a fluent half-century off 77 balls but he departed weakly on 51, having batted so well previously, by smashing Copeland straight to Matthew Spriegel at point.

After a couple of brief delays for bad light and rain, Copeland removed Eckersley for 25 when he trapped him lbw before Josh Cobb went for a second-ball duck when David Willey uprooted his off stump.

Leicestershire suffered another blow with the final ball before lunch when they lost captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, lbw to Copeland, to leave them on 134 for 5. Copeland completed his third five-for in consecutive Championship innings and eighth overall in first-class cricket when Matthew Boyce chopped on to his stumps to perish on 23.

He continued to tear through the Leicestershire batting order when he had Jigar Naik lbw and Willey then repeated the trick to Freckingham. Robbie Williams edged Andrew Hall to Northamptonshire wicketkeeper Ben Duckett for another second-ball nought, but Thakor stuck around to go past 50 off 85 deliveries.

Inevitably, it was Copeland who finished off Leicestershire's innings, when he trapped Alex Wyatt lbw for a single. Looking to build on a first innings lead of 121, the hosts lost Spriegel for just one in just the third over - yet another lbw victim with Freckingham taking his wicket.

After an hour-long delay for bad light, Northamptonshire were to lose David Sales for 31 when he was well taken by Leicestershire wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien off Wyatt.

Two wickets fell in the penultimate over as James Middlebrook edged Freckingham to O'Brien on 43 before Rob Newton senselessly smashed the same man to Eckersley at mid-on.

Northamptonshire's sloppy end also saw their captain Alex Wakely dismissed when he edged Wyatt to Smith at second slip with the final ball of the day.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter on May 20, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    @Meety. Really, I am not the least bit surprised he is performing, my only question was why he took so long to bag wickets on helpful pitches? But at least he was frugal with his overs, applying pressure from one end helping out his co-bowlers, something of a lost art. Having watched him perform tirelessly for 4 seasons now, this guy has to be the most underated bowler in Australia. His injury prior to BBL, left him with too little time to press claims, but Northants, to their credit grabbed their opportunity to sign him & probably feel chuffed about the decision I would suggest. I know it's Div2, but he can only perform by what is up the other end, besides which, he has knocked over some pretty well credentialled batsmen already.

  • Andrew on May 19, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    @Gandery on (May 19, 2013, 6:25 GMT) - fantasti comment!!! Hastings v Copland @ WACA - hell yes, 100% agree. Mike Whitney & Terry Alderman - ahhh the memories!!!!!!!

  • Shaun on May 19, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    @ Meety don't disagree with you at all. The Aussie Selectors I think have missed a trick. They didn't even like Bird. Yet he kept taking wickets and they finally saw the light. They complained about Birds pace at 135km! Copeland on the other hand was dealt a bad card. He did very well in Sri Lanka restricting runs but didn't get many wickets. Those are the flattest wickets to play on. Selectors decided to dump him because his strike rate over that series wasn't high enough. Inverarity even said he only took 1/250 over 3 games. I think it was an unfair comment. Also his injury he did to himself (not related to playing!) didn't help his cause. Australia played with Hastings in 3rd test against SA and he got smashed. If Copeland didn't get injured I think he would have played that test. Michael Clarke is a massive fan on Copeland. He has stated he is very reliable. I think you will find he may just get into the Ashes and do a Mike Whitney! He is the Alderman of the new era!

  • Andrew on May 19, 2013, 1:15 GMT

    @Big_Maxy_Walker on (May 18, 2013, 4:40 GMT) - I would like to think the main reason why Copeland missed out on the tour of India (given he had done well/okay in Sri Lanka), was he hurt himself off the field in November & didn't really have a chance @ Shield level before the squad was selected. That said - reality is Oz have a massive pace-fetish, & Copeland operating at around 125 to 130 kph, is not considered "fast" enough. @JesseV on (May 18, 2013, 0:47 GMT) - some say that Northants should reverse the batting line up, as the tail has dug them out of a few massive holes earlier in the season. @Gandery on (May 18, 2013, 0:48 GMT) - as I said above, we in Oz have a pace fetish. Our bowlers are "better" than England's because they are faster we say. We seem to forget that McGrath was barely any faster than Anderson is now, or for that matter Phillander. Copeland has a similar STYLE to McGrath in that he is accurate (patient) & just does enuff to worry a batsmen every ball!

  • avinash on May 18, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    Australia fast bowling is not an issue it is there batting lets them down, copeland doing very good.But i doubt he will get a chance in final 11.

  • Eddie on May 18, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    yes drying up the runs is something Copeland does well. Aussies could have used him in India after he was successful in Sri Lanka in the only tests he has played. If Bird fails or is injured again, I would bring him straight in as the McGrath like bowler

  • Noor on May 18, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    @Meety, and he's handy with the bat too. Surely he's got to be moving up the queue of fast bowlers. Still, Division Two county cricket's not the best place to display your wares.

  • Shaun on May 18, 2013, 0:48 GMT

    I agree Meety Trent Copeland has to be in the squad. I cant understand why he wasn't picked in the first place. Everyone new Copeland was ideal for the Duke ball in England like Kumar was. Lets hope the Aussie selectors get him in. If they don't and the bowlers fail than the selectors have shown they are not up to standard with selections.

  • Jesse on May 18, 2013, 0:47 GMT

    Good to see Copeland doing well, continuing some promising form from the Shield. But How is he batting at number 11!! He was batting at 7 for NSW and scored some 50's and even a hundred i'm pretty sure

  • Andrew on May 18, 2013, 0:20 GMT

    Get on the phone NSP! I really think he is a better (or at least similar quality) to Tremlett. He would be great insurance against injury prone bowlers like Harris & Patto & others, as he can bowl more overs in a day than even Siddle & he is more of a run scrooge than McGrath. Also - he is more than handy in the slips & I would imagine COULD fill the Gully-hole left by Hussey, (I am thinking of Joel Garner as I type this).

  • No featured comments at the moment.