Duckett flash of form lifts winless Northants

Ben Duckett got off to a typically rapid start Getty Images

Gloucestershire 25 for 1 trail Northamptonshire 282 (Procter 70, Levi 63, Duckett 52, Taylor 4-70) by 257 runs

Ben Duckett, Luke Procter and Richard Levi all made half-centuries as bottom-of-the-table Northamptonshire made 282 against Gloucestershire on the opening day of the pink-ball Specsavers County Championship match at Wantage Road.

After being bowled out with 13 overs left in the day, Northants swung the new ball around as the floodlights took effect and struck in the final over of the day with Steven Crook trapping Chris Dent lbw for 11 and Gloucestershire closed 25 for 1.

Until that wicket, Gloucestershire had fought back fairly well into the day after handing Northants easy runs early in the innings. But two mini-collapses prevented that early initiative being converted into a commanding total and had Dent survived with Benny Howell to the close, Gloucestershire, having elected to bowl, may have felt the more content with their day.

The visitors began the day terribly with the new ball and gave Northants a racing start with Duckett and Procter adding 97 runs in the first 16 overs. Duckett in particular feasted merrily to reach fifty in just 44 balls with nine fours - five of them in successive deliveries in the third over of the game bowled by Matt Taylor - for his first half-century in the Championship this season.

But Taylor returned and, after lodging his second half-century of the season, Duckett chased a full wide delivery to edge behind for 52, Ricardo Vasconcelos steered a catch to first slip off the same bowler for a nine ball duck and Alex Wakely was caught and bowled by Kieran Noema-Barnett for just 3 as Northants lost three wickets for 13 runs in five overs.

Just after lunch, Procter went to fifty in 93 balls with nine fours but having got to 70, top-edged a pull against Taylor and James Bracey ran back from slip to claim the catch. It was Taylor's third wicket, none of them terribly deserved, and he went on to claim 4 for 70 in 12 overs.

The wicket of Procter brought about the second Northants collapse as three wickets went down for 34 runs in eight overs. Adam Rossington lazily cut Taylor to first slip and Levi, having struck 13 fours in reaching 63 with a number of eye-catching strokes, pushed forward and was caught behind giving Ryan Higgins his first wicket before Northants settled to 247 for 6 at tea.

Saif Zaib fell in the first over of the evening session, trapped lbw by Noema-Barnett and after Rory Kleinveldt received a far more questionable lbw decision to fall for 9, Higgins removed the final two wickets - Crook caught a slip and Brett Hutton caught behind - to finish with 3 for 52.