Copeland leaving big mark at Northants
Hampshire 149 for 5 (Dawson 57*, Copeland 4-49) v Northamptonshire
Trent Copeland again shone with the ball as he took four wickets on the second day of against Hampshire at Wantage Road.
After losing the toss and being made to bat by the Division Two leaders, Hampshire closed on 149 for 5 as bad light brought an early finish with Liam Dawson making an obdurate 57 not out off 179 balls. Australia paceman Copeland returned figures of 4 for 49 from 28 over to give Northamptonshire the upper hand in what is his penultimate Championship game before he returns home.
After the first day was washed out without a ball being bowled, Northamptonshire won the toss and chose to bowl first in overcast conditions. And they made a breakthrough with just the fourth ball of the match when Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams was superbly taken by wicketkeeper David Murphy off David Willey for a duck.
Fellow opener Michael Carberry only made 10 before he was caught at second slip by David Sales off Copeland. The visitors crawled to 30 for 2 off the 24 overs that were possible in the morning but they lost James Vince in the fourth over after lunch when he was trapped lbw by Copeland.
Copeland switched to the pavilion end in the 39th over and, two balls in, pinned Sean Ervine lbw after the former Zimbabwe international had made 26. The fifth-wicket pair of Dawson and Adam Wheater then moved Hampshire on to 114 for 4 before bad light forced the players off.
The delay meant an early tea and the loss of five overs, but only another five were possible before the light dimmed again early in the evening session. Five more overs were trimmed from proceedings as a result, but the latest stoppage did not affect Dawson's concentration as he completed a watchful half-century off 165 balls.
However, Copeland struck yet again when he took out the off stump of Wheater, who had batted brightly in making 40 off 54 deliveries. Bad light intervened yet again with 25 overs still scheduled, and after rain finally set in umpires Mark Benson and Steve Garratt decided to call it a day at 6:05pm.
A result now looks unlikely, but Northamptonshire will still be looking for quick wickets tomorrow morning with Dawson now joined at the crease by Mike Roberts, who will resume on 2.