Newton ton rescues Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire 120 for 6 v Leicestershire
Young Northamptonshire batsman Rob Newton struck his maiden first-class century on a weather-affected first day of the County Championship Division Two match against Leicestershire at Wantage Road.
The 20-year-old smashed 102 off just 116 balls as Northamptonshire recovered from an awful start to post 186 for 6 at the close of play, with stand-in captain Stephen Peters contributing 55.
Former England seamer and Leicestershire skipper Matthew Hoggard took 3 for 39 for the visitors, who realistically need a freak set of results to get promoted. The hosts won the toss and chose to bat, with opener Peters captaining them in the absence of the injured Andrew Hall.
His opening partner, Mal Loye, was caught behind on his first ball by Leicestershire wicketkeeper Tom New off the bowling of Hoggard with the fourth delivery of the match. Alex Wakely (nine) then threw his wicket away by smashing Nathan Buck straight to James Taylor at point. David Sales (five) also went cheaply by driving Hoggard to Greg Smith at gully to leave the hosts struggling on 23 for three in the ninth over.
That brought Newton to the crease in his sixth first-class match and he and Peters together managed to stabilise the Northamptonshire innings with the latter completing his half-century off 114 balls as they reached lunch on 115 for three
It did not take Newton long to get to 50 - he hit his 54th ball through mid-wicket for four off Jigar Naik. Hoggard then claimed his third victim when he forced Peters to edge to Jacques du Toit at slip to break a fourth-wicket partnership of 99.
Rain then stopped play after the ninth over of the afternoon and the delay meant that the teams took an early tea at 1440 and that 15 overs were lost. With the first ball of the fourth over after the restart, Naik trapped James Middlebrook (three) lbw but Newton went on to pass his previous best score of 82, which he made at Derbyshire last month.
He completed his magnificent hundred off 111 balls by blasting his 14th four, but he was to add just two more runs before finally departing. In the first ball of Claude Henderson's spell in the 57th over, he was superbly caught by Taylor diving forward from short leg.
Only one more over was possible before play was halted for bad light with 23 overs remaining and the seventh-wicket pairing of David Murphy and David Lucas will resume tomorrow on five and three respectively.