Matches (12)
USA vs BAN (1)
IPL (1)
County DIV1 (5)
County DIV2 (4)
T20I Tri-Series (1)
Central Group, Northampton, August 22 - 25, 2020, Bob Willis Trophy
259 & 261
(T:189) 332 & 192/4

Northants won by 6 wickets


Emilio Gay's maiden half-century takes Northamptonshire to victory

Storm Francis abates to ease supporter pressure on head coach David Ripley

Emilio Gay acknowledges his half-century, Northamptonshire v Glamorgan, Bob Willis Trophy, Wantage Road, August 25, 2020

Emilio Gay acknowledges his half-century  •  Getty Images

Northamptonshire 332 (Curran 82, Thurston 115, Vasconcelos 58, de Lange 4-84, van der Gugten 3-64) and 192 for 4 (Thurston 64, Gay 77*) beat Glamorgan 259 (Taylor 106, White 4-48, Hutton 4-77) and 261 (Douthwaite 86, van der Gugten 113, White 4-35, Muzarabani 3-67) by six wickets
Storm Francis cleared in time for Northamptonshire to complete a six-wicket victory over Glamorgan, their first win of the Bob Willis Trophy, and appease some of their supporters who had become disgruntled by their rotation policy - or more specifically, by losing.
Their decision to rotate players and use the competition to develop a deeper squad has not been universally popular. And those voices grew louder after defeats to Somerset and Worcestershire and a late escape to draw at Edgbaston.
So this win offers head coach David Ripley some respite. And some justification with a target of 189 realised by Emilio Gay who made an unbeaten 77 - his maiden first-class fifty - and Charlie Thurston, whose 64 followed a maiden century for Northamptonshire in the first innings. The pair shared 106 for the second wicket.
Ben Curran also made 82 in the first innings and none of those three would have featured in a first-choice XI back in March. Neither would Jack White, Northamptonshire's latest bolter from the Minor Counties and playing just his third first-class match at the age of 28, who took eight wickets in the match.
The performances of those four was exactly what Ripley was looking for as he tries to build his squad for a return to Division One of the County Championship next season.
Northamptonshire should have wrapped up victory inside three days but were denied by Marchant de Lange's outrageous hitting and their latest instance of failing to deal with aggression from the lower order. It left them hostage to the weather on day four but fortunately for them the rain blew through in time to allow play to start at 2.40pm.
It still remained extremely windy and after a short time the umpires removed the bails but it didn't deter Thurston and Gay who quickly took their overnight 62 for 1 to 115 for 1 by tea.
Gay made his maiden first-class fifty in his fourth match. He drove Michael Hogan smartly through mid-on and then played a better shot past extra-cover. He whipped Dan Douthwaite through midwicket to reach fifty in 104 balls.
Thurston flicked Hogan between long leg and deep square for the day's first boundary but was almost caught top-edging a cut to third man that Joe Cooke couldn't take running in.
He pulled Tim van der Gugten for six with the fielder at deep square tipping the ball over the boundary before flicking the same bowler very stylishly over long leg for a second six in the over - separated by a 14 minute delay for a brief shower.
But having gone past a second half-century of the match in 55 balls, Thurston couldn't take his side home as he tried to drive Douthwaite through mid-on, missed, and was lbw.
It allowed Luke Procter to help take Northamptonshire almost to victory with a switch-hit for four off Kieran Bull. But he swung and edged to the wicketkeeper to finally give Hogan his 600th first-class wicket. Rob Keogh was then run out hesitating over a single.
The result should make Ripley's postbag a little lighter in the coming week as Northamptonshire prepare for their main target of this truncated summer, the T20 Blast that begins on Thursday.
But who knows what correspondence will be coming the way of the Glamorgan hierarchy. They failed again with the bat and the difference between the sides was far greater than the margin of victory.
Lower-order rescue acts saved them against Worcestershire and Gloucestershire but it needed two remarkable performances from the tail here just to make the scoreboard respectable having slipped to 135 for 9 in the first innings and 60 for 8 in the second. It proves just how reliant they were last season on the mountains of runs made by Australian Marnus Labuschagne.

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Bob Willis Trophy

Central Group
North Group
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