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Leach, D'Oliveira stamp mark on Northants

Worcestershire 277 and 181 for 4 (D'Oliveira 81) lead Northamptonshire 148 (Rossington 55, Leach 5-70) by 310 runs
Scorecard

Joe Leach's third five-wicket haul of the season and 81 from Brett D'Oliveira put Worcestershire in complete control on the second day against Northamptonshire. The visitors, having taken a first-innings lead of 129, closed 181 for 4 in their second-innings, a lead of 310.

Leach added two more wickets to his three on the first evening to help bundle Northants out for just 148 - comfortably their lowest total at Wantage Road this season. D'Oliveira then led Worcestershire into a commanding lead with a fourth score over fifty in the Championship this season.

A century opening partnership with Daryl Mitchell saw Worcestershire seize the game. He and D'Oliveira survived the odd play-and-miss but it was a chanceless partnership to demoralise Northants, who are now staring at a second defeat of the season with two days to go on a dry wicket beginning to show signs of turn.

Worcestershire utilised sunnier afternoon weather to build their lead, first between D'Oliveira and Mitchell - who eventually fell lbw to Seekkuge Prasanna for 47 - and then for the second wicket with Tom Fell, who closed 36 not out.

D'Oliveira was composed and clever, scampered keenly between the wickets and tucked Prasanna finely past short square leg for a fifty in 92 balls with three boundaries. He lifted Rob Keogh down the ground for four through long-on but, shuffling down the pitch again, Keogh fired a ball down the leg side and David Murphy completed a smart stumping with D'Oliveira 19 short of a third century of the year.

Keogh struck again next ball, bowling Joe Clarke, but Tom Kohler-Cadmore survived the hat-trick, only to be trapped lbw by Prasanna for a 13-ball duck before the close.

The day began very overcast with Northants 64 for 3 and the home side's hopes of getting back into the game pinned on Richard Levi and Adam Rossington. But Levi never settled having resumed 11 not out and after adding 16 at-times-awkward runs, he pulled Matt Henry straight into the air off a top edge and was caught for 27 by wicketkeeper Ben Cox running towards square leg.

It was the first of two important wickets for Henry who produced a beautiful away-swinger to draw an edge from Rossington - Cox dived to his right to take a smart catch. Rossington had at least provided something for his side with a half-century in 61-balls but he fell in the penultimate over before lunch. Another Henry away-swinger saw Prasanna taken at second slip in the first over after lunch.

D'Oliveria helped clean up the tail, trapping Azharullah and Ben Sanderson lbw with consecutive balls across two overs, before Murphy was the last man out - held at point to hand Leach, who earlier had Steven Crook caught at second slip, 5 for 70 and 36 wickets in the Championship this season.