Northamptonshire 355 (Hall 112, Newton 81, Willey 77, Freckingham 6-125) and 94 for 5 lead Leicestershire 234 ( Thakur 64*, Copeland 7-63) by 266 runs

Trent Copeland has only ever briefly attracted the interest of Australia's selectors but he is making waves in the Championship. He continued his excellent form with the ball by taking seven wickets on the third day of Northamptonshire's Division Two match with Leicestershire and has become a key figure in their promotion push.

Copeland returned 7 for 63 as Leicestershire were bowled out for 234, achieved thanks to an unbeaten 64 from 96 balls from the teenager Shiv Thakor. It may not be long before the bigger counties come sniffing.

Northants are by no means in an impregnable position with a day remaining. A late flurry of wickets - three in the last two overs - saw them close on 94 for 5, a lead of 215, with the impressive Ollie Freckingham taking 3 for 28 to add to his six first-innings dismissals.

Leicestershire began the day on 89 for 1, 266 runs behind their opponents, with opener Greg Smith resuming on 36 and Ned Eckersley on 16.Smith went on to complete a fluent half-century off 77 balls but he departed weakly on 51, having batted so well previously, by smashing Copeland straight to Matthew Spriegel at point.

After a couple of brief delays for bad light and rain, Copeland removed Eckersley for 25 when he trapped him lbw before Josh Cobb went for a second-ball duck when David Willey uprooted his off stump.

Leicestershire suffered another blow with the final ball before lunch when they lost captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, lbw to Copeland, to leave them on 134 for 5. Copeland completed his third five-for in consecutive Championship innings and eighth overall in first-class cricket when Matthew Boyce chopped on to his stumps to perish on 23.

He continued to tear through the Leicestershire batting order when he had Jigar Naik lbw and Willey then repeated the trick to Freckingham. Robbie Williams edged Andrew Hall to Northamptonshire wicketkeeper Ben Duckett for another second-ball nought, but Thakor stuck around to go past 50 off 85 deliveries.

Inevitably, it was Copeland who finished off Leicestershire's innings, when he trapped Alex Wyatt lbw for a single. Looking to build on a first innings lead of 121, the hosts lost Spriegel for just one in just the third over - yet another lbw victim with Freckingham taking his wicket.

After an hour-long delay for bad light, Northamptonshire were to lose David Sales for 31 when he was well taken by Leicestershire wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien off Wyatt.

Two wickets fell in the penultimate over as James Middlebrook edged Freckingham to O'Brien on 43 before Rob Newton senselessly smashed the same man to Eckersley at mid-on.

Northamptonshire's sloppy end also saw their captain Alex Wakely dismissed when he edged Wyatt to Smith at second slip with the final ball of the day.