Northamptonshire v Kent, Wantage Road, 1st day September 17, 2013

Northants plan open-top bus parade

Vithushan Ehantharajah at Wantage Road

Kent 60 for 1 v Northamptonshire
Scorecard

Only 17.1 overs were possible as Northamptonshire began their penultimate match of an impressive season. As incumbents in the promotion spots for most of the season, the hosts are on the verge of promotion from Division Two, needing to better Essex's result against Glamorgan by four points to return to the top flight for the first time since 2004.

During the tea interval throughout this match, spectators will be invited to have their photo taken with the FLt20 trophy, which will also be taken around the streets of Northampton next Friday on an open-top bus.

The plan is for the team to set off from the County Ground at 6.15pm, parade through St Giles Street before attending a civic reception in their honour at the Guildhall at 6.30pm. By then, promotion could - and should - have been wrapped up. But it could all be very tight, regardless of whether Essex manage to push them close.

Northants are at New Road next week for their season closer against Worcestershire starting on Tuesday. They might be playing until 5.30pm on Friday, meaning they would have 45 minutes to complete an hour-and-a-half journey.

There was one wicket to fall in the small window of play - that of Sam Northeast, who fended at an outswinger from Andrew Hall that got big on the opener at the last moment. Standing up to the stumps, David Murphy took an exceptional catch.

All things considered, Kent will be happy to have nine wickets in reserve, with the ball seaming and swinging on a damp, overcast morning. After some diligent work on the ball from the Northants fielders, it began to move so dramatically that even a skilled operator like Hall was unable to tame it.

A handful of his deliveries curved so much from middle stump that they ended up at second slip, jarring the tops of Murphy's fingers on the way through. Predictably, when Hall readjusted to wide of leg-stump, the ball continued on down the leg-side, leaving Murphy sprawling to his left in vain.

At 12.09pm, the rain came and settled in for the rest of the day. Play was eventually called at 4:25pm.

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