Six-wicket Copeland signs off in style as Northants thrash Worcestershire

David Willey and Trent Copeland polished off the rest of the Worcestershire order on day three at the County Ground

David Willey and Trent Copeland polished off the rest of the Worcestershire order on day three at the County Ground

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Northamptonshire enhanced their position at the top of the LV= Championship Division Two standings with a 10-wicket defeat of Worcestershire at the County Ground today.

The home side took 45 minutes to wrap up the visitors’ second innings on the third morning after they resumed the third day on 97 for six, 21 runs from making Northants from batting again.

The 22 point-haul was the result of another outstanding performance from the four-strong seam attack who have been in excellent form all season with Australian Trent Copeland, playing his final game before returning to Sydney, the pick.

The New South Welshman finished with the figures of six for 41, passing 50 competitive wickets for the club in the process, as Worcestershire were bowled out for 125.

After 10 relatively uneventful minutes, Copeland got the show under way as he had Gareth Andrew caught behind as the left-hander attempted to draw his bat out of the way.

That broke a partnership of 36, something of a triumph after the wreckage of the previous evening, and it opened up the tail.

The first of those, in the shape of Jack Shantry, lasted just two deliveries before Copeland trapped him in front to pick up his fifth of the innings and his fourth lbw.

Chris Russell, who had dismissed Copeland on the second day a ball after hitting him on the helmet, was greeted unsurprisingly by a bouncer but that delayed the inevitable which came five minutes later as he edged behind to Murphy.

Throughout the carnage, Moeen Ali was standing firm and emulating his efforts of the first innings when he top-scored with 79.

He was the only Worcestershire player to get more than 25 in the contest and showed what was achievable via good judgement and application which he displayed in abundance.

Alan Richardson came in with 10 runs still needed to make the hosts bat again and this target was reached as a David Willey no-ball ensured parity.

The number 11 became the last man to depart as he fended Willey to James Middlebrook in the gully leaving Ali, who finished with 44 from 122 deliveries, stranded at the other end.

That left a meagre eight runs to win and victory was accomplished in the third over as Kyle Coetzer lofter Shantry over extra cover for six.

The win sees top-of-the-table Northants open up a 44-point lead over second-placed Lancashire.