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Northants v Gloucestershire
DAY 4 - TEA
Gareth Roderick hit his second half century of the match but was the only wicket to fall in the afternoon session as Gloucestershire’s match with Northamptonshire looks set to finish in a draw, the visitors 232-2 at tea, chasing 454 to win.
Resuming after lunch on 144-1, Roderick and Chris Dent put on a steady partnership of 81 to all but end any hopes Northants had of forcing victory, Roderick hitting seven fours in following his 52, but fell shortly before tea, LBW to Rob Keogh.
Dent batted patiently throughout the session, adding 21 to his tally to move onto 86 not out, with Peter Handscombe on 13, and only a dramatic burst with the new ball, due three overs after tea, will prevent the draw.
DAY 4 - LUNCH
Chris Dent and Will Tavare made half centuries as Gloucestershire’s openers shared a stand of 137 to boost their hopes of avoiding defeat on the final day against Northamptonshire.
Gloucestershire resumed on 35-0 chasing an unlikely 454 to win, with Northants looking for ten wickets to claim a first Championship win since August 2013 but found life tough going on a placid Wantage Road pitch.
Dent and Tavare looked in little trouble as they brought up their half centuries in consecutive overs, and the duo looked set to bat through the session before Muhammed Azharullah returned to the attack just before lunch and bowled Tavare for 66 with the second delivery of his spell.
Dent remained unbeaten on 65 as Gloucestershire reached the interval 144-1, requiring another 310 runs to win.
DAY 3 - LUNCH
Gloucestershire bowled themselves back into the match in the morning session at Wantage Road, on the third day of the LV= County Championship match with Northamptonshire.
Three wickets fell in the first hour before a steady partnership between Rob Keogh, unbeaten on 26, and Josh Cobb, 7 not out having been dropped on 2, nudged the lead up to 175 with Northamptonshire 138 for 5 at lunch.
The visitors were well on top having reduced Northamptonshire to 110 for 5. Rob Newton was first out, having pulled the first boundary of the day then cut James Fuller to point for 19. Captain Alex Wakely looked in control having reached 43 but chipped a catch back to Liam Norwell, who then struck again when Adam Rossington was also taken at point.
DAY 2 - CLOSE OF PLAY
Three wickets in four balls from David Willey helped Northamptonshire to a healthy lead over Gloucestershire after day two of their LV= County Championship Division Two match at Wantage Road. By close on day two, Northants were 68 for 2 in the second innings, 105 in front.
The visitors lost their last four wickets for no runs to finish on 296 all out but that seemed scarcely possible, when Geraint Jones' team moved serenely if cautiously through the morning. Having resumed on 18 for no wicket, Chris Dent and Will Tavare had little cause for alarm as both looked comfortable on a pitch which was expected to be best for batting on the second day.
Northamptonshire's bowlers were largely ineffective early on but Mohammed Azharullah was more probing in beating the bat. It was the 31 year-old Pakistani who induced Dent to edge behind to Rossington for 40 to end an opening partnership of 85. Four overs later, he trapped Tavare LBW for 34, but at 112 for 2 at lunch, Gloucestershire would have been the happier.
Runs flowed after the interval, but Northants were more threatening with the ball in a closely fought afternoon. When Azharullah yorked Gareth Roderick for an impressive 56, Alex Wakely's team looked set for a healthy first innings lead with Gloucestershire 185 for 5.
But Jones in his first game as Gloucestershire captain counter-attacked first with support from Kieran Noema-Barnett and then from James Fuller. Spectators may have been reminded of his exploits for England ten years ago in their famous Ashes win over Australia as several punches through the covers contributed to a valuable half-century.
DAY 2 - TEA
A compelling afternoon's cricket at Wantage Road, has left Gloucestershire on 253 for 6 at tea on the second day against Northamptonshire. The visitors had Gareth Roderick to thank with 56 and new captain Geraint Jones who was unbeaten on 60.
Four wickets fell in the middle session with Northants fast bowler Mohammed Azharullah ending it with figures of 3 for 44. Olly Stone took two wickets as the home side's attack found some rhythym.
Gloucestershire are eighty runs behind, after Northamptonshire made 333 all out yesterday.
DAY 2 - LUNCH
Gloucestershire's batsmen have laid a useful platform to reach 112 for 2 at lunch on Day 2 of their LV= County Championship match against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
Resuming on 18 for no wicket, Chris Dent and Will Tavare had little cause for alarm in the opening hour and a half, with both looking comfortable on a pitch which few bowlers have so far failed to exploit.
But Mohammed Azharullah was the pick, beating the bat more regularly than any other Northants bowler and he induced the edge from Dent to Rossington for 40 to break the opening partnership. Four overs later, he trapped Tavare LBW for 34 but it will be the visitors who will be the happier at the interval.