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Newton's law keeps Derbyshire falling

Northamptonshire 218 (Newton 67, McKerr 5-87) and 247 for 4 (Newton 108, Wakely 79) lead Derbyshire 176 (Hughes 62*, Sanderson 5-52) by 289 runs
Scorecard

Rob Newton made his first century of the season in the Specsavers County Championship as Northamptonshire took control against Derbyshire at Wantage Road, reaching 247 for 4 and a lead of 289 by the close of day two.

Newton, who was awarded his county cap before the game, followed up a first-innings 67 with a century in 189 balls, his 12th in first-class cricket, reaching three figures by flicking Jeevan Mendis past midwicket for his tenth boundary.

The second fifty was quite hard work on a fairly slow wicket against the older ball, taking 123 balls and scoring just two further fours, as the boundaries that flowed before and just after lunch dried up and Northants ground Derbyshire down with steady accumulation.

Northants are not accustomed to playing in such a manner - Newton's century was just the second they have made in the Championship this season and the century stand he shared with Alex Wakely was just the fifth of the year.

Wakely was also forced to play carefully and struck just a six - heaving a Mendis full toss over midwicket - and one four in his half-century from 100 balls. He fell for 79 in the final over of the old ball, driving at Tony Palladino and getting an edge to wicketkeeper Daryn Smit who took a good low catch. And when Conor McKerr sent a full ball into the stumps of Rob Keogh Derbyshire opened a route back into the game.

But until those late wickets, their hopes of a first four-day victory for two years were fading with just one wicket in the first 65 overs of the Northants second innings - that of Max Holden - pinned lbw by a McKerr yorker for 31.

Their attack was very ill-disciplined in the morning session where Northants raced past 50 in just the 11th over. The regained a little control of the run-rate after lunch with Alex Hughes bowling wicket-to-wicket and a good second spell from Tom Taylor.

Coming in from the Wantage Road end, Taylor provided some hope in his seven overs where he found a little movement to beat the bat several times. But it was the only period of concerted pressure Newton and Wakely faced as they grew the lead.

Their second effort with the bat ensured a great day for Northamptonshire after Ben Sanderson completed his first five-wicket haul of the season in the morning session to bowl Derbyshire out for 176 and handing Northants a handy first-innings lead of 42.

Sanderson struck in the eighth over of the morning to end a seventh-wicket stand of 59 that had frustrated Northants on the first evening. But Taylor, who survived 48 balls to the close of day one, added only three runs before shouldering arms and losing his off stump.

And Sanderson's five-for came when Tony Palladino tried to pull and got a thin edge to wicketkeeper Ben Duckett.

Hughes, who was dropped in the gully to the second ball of the morning, was left to try and farm the bowling from No. 11 Conor McKerr but calling him back for a second run that was most certainly available, McKerr simply didn't respond and was run-out without facing a ball. It left Hughes stranded on 62.