Smith ton puts Leicestershire on top
Leicestershire 159 for 2 v Northamptonshire 250
Leicestershire batsman Greg Smith struck his second century in consecutive County Championship innings on the second day of the match against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
Leicestershire captain Matthew Hoggard took his third five-wicket haul of the season, claiming figures of 5 for 48 as Northants added 64 to their overnight score before being bowled out for 250. The 21-year-old Smith then blasted an unbeaten 100 off 164 balls including 16 fours as a partnership of 101 unbroken between him and James Taylor (32 not out) guided the visitors to 159 for 2 at the close.
Northants started the day on 186 for 6, with their wicketkeeper David Murphy and David Lucas resuming on five and three respectively. But Murphy was unable to add to his overnight total before he was pinned lbw by Hoggard with the fifth ball of the morning.
And Hoggard completed his 25th five-for in first-class cricket when he bowled Jack Brooks (nine) as the visitors looked to quickly finish off the Northants tail. But Lucas and Lee Daggett frustrated their attack by adding 46 for the ninth wicket, with Lucas making a respectable 31 before he strode down the pitch and missed Jigar Naik's straight delivery with the ball going on to hit his middle stump.
Two balls later, Naik ended the innings by trapping Northants debutant David Burton lbw for a second-ball duck, leaving Daggett unbeaten on 22. Leicestershire lost Matthew Boyce (four) cheaply on the final ball before lunch when he tamely struck Lucas to Burton at mid-on.
They suffered another soft dismissal in the ninth over of the afternoon when Jacques du Toit (14) was caught and bowled by James Middlebrook. But Smith, who smashed 158 not out in the second innings against Gloucestershire last week, went on to reach 50 off 65 balls with his ninth four.
He and fellow youngster Taylor then made the Northants bowlers toil for the rest of the session, comfortably guiding their side to 145 for 2 at tea. Rain then began to fall during the interval, meaning a delay to the start of the evening session and the loss of two overs.
In the second over after play restarted, Smith reached his century off 145 balls and he and Taylor were to complete their century partnership before their progress was soon halted by the weather. Torrential rain started to fall just seven overs after the last stoppage, with it soon becoming apparent no more play was possible and the umpires unsurprisingly called a halt to proceedings.