Wakely enjoys winning feeling as Northants defeat Durham in thriller

Alex Wakely led Northants to a vital victory at Durham (picture: Dave Ikin)
Alex Wakely led Northants to a vital victory at Durham (picture: Dave Ikin)

Alex Wakely savoured the winning feeling as Northants eventually got the job done in a thrilling four-day fixture at Durham.

David Ripley’s men left it late, securing a two-wicket success with one ball to spare thanks to Nathan Buck and Ben Sanderson running a bye.

It was Northants’ third win in five Specsavers County Championship Division Two matches this season and they now sit fourth in the standings.

The weather had threatened to ruin the game at Chester-le-Street, but the players finally managed to get the action going on day four.

And Northants, led by a fine 84 from captain Wakely, finally reached their victory target of 205.

“We tried our best to lose it at the end, but we had the upper hand from the first day and it’s a good feeling to come away with a win we really needed,” Wakely said.

“The weather threatened to deny us, but we were always holding on to a hope that there would be an opening and we felt 20 overs at the end was all we needed.”

Durham were dismissed for 166 on the first day, with Nathan Buck taking a career best six for 34.

Northants then made 338 all out, with Middlesex loanee Max Holden hitting a superb 124.

Durham managed to claim a lead, hitting 376 in their second innings, with Muhammad Azharullah grabbing five for 72.

But Northants overcame the loss of late wickets to edge home in gloomy conditions on Monday evening.