Leicestershire 65 for 4 trail Northamptonshire 261 (Duckett 112, Holden 92, Klein 6-80) by 196 runs
Ben Duckett made a sparkling century for Northamptonshire and Dieter Klein took six wickets for Leicestershire on the opening day of the pink-ball Specsavers County Championship match at Wantage Road. Northants took the spoils, who, having made 261, reduced their visitors to 61 for 4 by the close.
Duckett's 89-ball century put Northants in a strong position, only for them to collapse from 211 for 3 - including four wickets for one run - as Klein took 6 for 80. But late wickets under the floodlights saw Northants regain the upper hand.
Ben Sanderson and Rory Kleinveldt induced edges behind the wicket from both Leicestershire openers before Richard Gleeson, playing his first Championship match of the season, pinned Mark Cosgrove lbw and Azharullah bowled nightwatchman Rob Sayer second ball.
It was still a very good one. It began with an extraordinary innings from Duckett, with the advantage of being one of only two players in the game to have previously played against the pink ball.
And after he fell for 112, Northants were still in excellent shape through Max Holden's third Championship half-century and a fifty stand with Rob Keogh. But a superb yorker from Klein took out Keogh's off stump and it sparked a remarkable collapse.
First Chesney Hughes was given out caught at slip having hooked at a bumper he clearly thought had not come off his glove. Then Josh Cobb pushed a ball towards mid-off, set off for a sharp single and was run out by Clint McKay's direct hit. And when Kleinveldt pushed outside off stump and edged Klein to wicketkeeper Lewis Hill, Northants' strong position had been sacrificed.
Sanderson also edged a hook to be caught at the wicket but Azharullah helped Holden bring up a second batting point. Holden was eventually last man out for a measured 92.
Northants were well set for far more after Duckett made a century in the opening session of the match. He has struggled for form so far this season having made just two half-centuries in the Championship but here was back to his best with an breezy ton that featured 20 boundaries.
He initially feasted on some loose Leicestershire bowling on a wicket that appeared easy-paced and prompted the introduction of spin in just the 14th over of the day. An early Duckett drive spooned past extra-cover but he soon found his timing and drove Klein delightfully down the ground, cut McKay past point and lifted Sayer over long-on in reaching fifty in just 41 balls. He then twice paddle swept Neil Dexter to the fine leg boundary in going to a first century of the season.
But he added only 12 more to his tea time score before sweeping Sayer off a top edge that was splendidly caught by McKay at short fine leg tumbling back. It ended a stand of 136 for the third wicket with Holden and a stand that recovered the innings from a difficult start after Klein had removed both Rob Newton and Alex Wakely lbw.