NORTHAMPTONSHIRE head coach David Capel had words of praise for David Sales after his undefeated century had steered the visitors into a position of relative superiority on day one at Canterbury.
Sales ended the day on 104 and will resume on day two with the target of pushing the score into match-winning territory.
After a very lean couple of seasons by his high standards, Sales has begun to find some form in recent weeks which Capel says is well deserved.
He said: “It was the art of building an innings and he simply just batted.
“He had to play straight and apply himself and I think he had 10 runs off 50-odd balls which isn’t really like him.
“It was good, old-fashioned, grinding it out cricket and the partnership with Midders (James Middlebrook) was a pleasure to watch.
“Jumble (Sales) is having to work hard for his runs, he’s having to battle and his attitude is superb.
“It was obviously pleasing for him to get to three figures and it was good to see.”
Sales’ effort was the good news but Rob Newton’s cracked wrist provided the bad.
The opener was forced to retire hurt and Capel said that it didn’t look good.
He added: “Luckily it’s a hairline crack and hasn’t gone further through the wrist which is the only good thing about it.
“He’s had a cast put on it which will be there for a week or so and a rough estimate is that he will miss three to four weeks at the very least.
“And then it’s got to be strong enough to manipulate and move properly so we’ve just got to wait.”
As for the game, the plan from the County is a simple one.
Capel continued: “It’s not a great surface and I don’t think it will get any better.
“We’ve got to try and bat beyond lunch if we can, get a large total, and put them under some pressure.”