White's debut five wickets plugs the gap
Northamptonshire 325 (Wakeley 123, McKay 5-54) and 162 for 8 lead Leicestershire 372 (Cosgrove 110, McKay 52*, Kleinveldt 5-58) by 115 runs
Wayne White's five wickets led Leicestershire towards a third Championship victory on the third day at Wantage Road as they fought to escape bottom spot in the Second Division of the LV= Championship.
White chipped away at the Northants second innings as they struggled to 162 for 8 and a lead of just 115, but a terrible forecast for day four may scupper Leicestershire's bid for consecutive wins in the County Championship for the first time since 2010.
Having only signed for Leicestershire at the start of the month after Derbyshire agreed to his early release, White reversed a poor showing in the first innings when he conceded 84 runs in 11 overs. It was a most-necessary display with the Foxes shorn of both Ben Raine and Charlie Shreck who both suffered injuries.
"I felt like I owed the side quite a lot after the first dig but I knew I could come back and do a job," White said. "It was hard work out there but I pride myself on those day, coming in and crashing the wicket hard and stuff went to hand."
White broke a third-wicket partnership of 51 between David Murphy and Rob Keogh that was steering Northants towards safer waters and thereafter, no significant stands developed as Leicestershire took regular wickets.
He first struck to have Murphy, opening the batting in place of Newton, bowled off an inside edge 10 minutes before lunch. And to the penultimate ball of the session, Keogh, who scored just 87 runs in his last eight Championship innings but here made 36, edged behind.
The afternoon session was lost to heavy rain but it cleared in time for 38 overs from 4.20pm. Seven overs after the restart White struck with Josh Cobb, who never settled, getting a thin edge behind and then Rory Kleinveldt was also taken in the cordon. White's five-for, the seventh of his first-class career, came when Azharullah edged low to second slip.
White built on Clint McKay's early blows. McKay's second over of the morning probed away around Ben Duckett's off stump and with the fifth delivery, found an outside edge. A second wicket arrived after half an hour with another excellent delivery to take out Alex Wakely's off stump.
It was another loose batting display by Northamptonshire, similar to their collapse in the second innings at Cheltenham where they lost inside two days. But for a long weather delay, this could also have been a defeat with a day to spare. Only Richard Levi settled at the crease and he made an important half-century, in 90 balls - his fourth of the season - to push his side's lead above three figures.
It was especially important given that Steven Crook was unable to bat following a serious-looking ankle injury on the second day. An x-ray on Saturday found Crook had not broken his ankle but he will undergo a scan on Monday to assess potential ligament or tendon damage. His inclusion in the NatWest Blast Finals Day remains in doubt.
Rob Newton also suffered an injury - a fracture to his right thumb - but was able to come out to bat at No 8 and resisted for 39 balls. It helped Northants get through to the close and rain on day four may yet save them.