This season sees Northamptonshire play their 1,000th first-class match at Wantage Road. We recall some of the best of them….
A Championship tie is a rare bird indeed.
To the extent that it took 745 games in the premier competition at the County Ground to get the first one.
The 1984 season wasn’t a vintage campaign for Geoff Cook’s side in terms of results – injuries and illness didn’t help – but Northamptonshire certainly knew how to entertain then, and when Kent visited in July they also played their part to the full.
Superb bowling from Terry Alderman and Richard Ellison and a solid innings from opener Neil Taylor enabled Chris Tavare to set the County 331 for victory in 80 overs – comfortably the highest total of the match.
The early loss of Wayne Larkins was a major blow, but Cook and Robin Boyd-Moss steadied the ship before local boys Duncan Wild and David Capel added 117 at five-an-over to keep the issue alive.
Wild – just 21 – completed a memorable maiden century (“the first of many” we all said, confidently) and eventually the target came into view.
However, the Saints old boy lacked support from the lower order as five wickets fell for 49 in the chase.
When Alderman dismissed him for 128, another 17 runs were needed with last pair Alan Walker and Jim Griffiths at the crease.
Somehow they chipped and chiselled 16 of them to level the scores with three balls of the match remaining and Walker facing.
‘Wacky’ missed the first. And the second, and the third.
Unlike Albert Lightfoot against the Australians 23 years earlier, Griffiths had the sense to attempt a bye that would have secured a remarkable win.
But he was run out – and the stats men had to head up a new page in the County Ground record book.