County beat Foxes to end wait for Championship victory

Rory Kleinveldt took four second-innings wickets as Northamptonshire beat Leicestershire
Rory Kleinveldt took four second-innings wickets as Northamptonshire beat Leicestershire
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Northamptonshire ended a run of 20 championship matches without a win by beating Leicestershire by 92 runs at Grace Road.

Resuming on 44-1 in pursuit of 376 to win, the Foxes lost three wickets in the first hour of play and, on a pitch that continued to offer occasional assistance to the seamers, never genuinely threatened to get close to their target.

Angus Robson, 25 overnight, had added only seven to his score when his off-stump was knocked out of the ground by a Mohammad Azharullah delivery that straightened off the seam.

Captain Mark Cosgrove was then given out leg before wicket for 2 to Olly Stone, a decision that surprised the left-handed batsman, who may have thought the ball was going over the stumps. .

There were no such doubts about the decision to send Neil Pinner on his way, however, Azharullah switching ends to trap the batsman plumb in front for 12, leaving Leicestershire on 93-4.

Ned Eckersley and Niall O’Brien put together a partnership of 59 for the fifth wicket, but Northants struck again before lunch, Rory Kleinveldt ending Eckersley’s 111 ball innings of 37 with an in-swinger that won another leg before decision.

Tom Wells became the fourth lbw victim of the day when he was beaten by Kleinveldt’s in-swinger, but Niall O’Brien played with characteristic fluency in going to his half-century, hitting eight fours before inside-edging a Kleinveldt delivery into his stumps.

Ben Raine went quickly, caught behind driving at Azharullah, but Leicestershire’s newly arrived overseas player Clint McKay hit out to good effect, as he had in the Foxes’ first innings, before top edging a hook into the hands of deep backward square leg.

Ollie Freckingham and Charlie Shreck ensured Leicestershire’s defeat would be by less than 100 before Shreck went caught behind off Kleinveldt.