Ripley savours another thrilling success for Northants

Richard Gleeson grabbed four second innings wickets for Northants (picture: Dave Ikin)
Richard Gleeson grabbed four second innings wickets for Northants (picture: Dave Ikin)
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Northants head coach David Ripley admitted it’s ‘the year of the thriller’ after seeing his side snatch another victory at the death in Specsavers County Championship Division Two.

After dramatic wins against the likes of Durham and Derbyshire, fourth-placed Northants, who have now won five of their seven four-day games this season, claimed the most sensational triumph of them all on Thursday night as they saw off Leicestershire.

The away side appeared to be heading to victory at the County Ground, but Rory Kleinveldt had Mathew Pillans caught by former Leicestershire man Josh Cobb to seal an incredible two-run win for Northants.

Leicestershire needed just three more runs to win at the time, but they couldn’t get over the line as last-gasp hero Kleinveldt had the final say.

And Ripley said: “I thought it was maybe slipping away at the death there.

“They’d played very sensibly and were just edging their way to victory and at that moment we were looking back to dropped catches and whether we should have batted for an extra five or six overs.

“There were lots of things going through my mind - but it’s the year of the thriller for Northants.

“It’s the fourth tight game we’ve had in seven Championship matches this season and it feels really good.

“Overall, I thought we edged it with the cricket we played.

“It was a great chase from Leicestershire, they put a great shift in and it made for a really entertaining four-day cricket match, which we don’t see too much of these days.”

Northants had made 261 in their first innings before dismissing Leicestershire for just 157.

The County then increased their lead before declaring on 289 for seven in their second innings, setting Leicestershire 394 to win.

And they almost completed the chase, but four wickets from Richard Gleeson and three apiece from Ben Sanderson and Kleinveldt ensured Northants would take the spoils ahead of next week’s clash with Kent, which starts at Beckenham on Monday.