“We’ve had some missed opportunities and that’s been the story of the game so far.”
A simple but damning assessment of the state of play offered by Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley at the end of the third day of the clash with Lancashire.
As things stand, the home side are nine runs from making the visitors bat again with six second innings wickets intact and it will take a battling effort on the final day to prevent defeat.
And Ripley pointed to a couple of key factors as to why his charges are coming second.
He said: “We were 90-0 after the first session and then to only get 300 was disappointing. We blunted the new ball which was their strength and we had the opportunity to ppst 400.
“They were 140-4 and then 300-8 and there was the chance for some parity in the first innings.
“Obviously a deficit of 130 leaves you on the back foot straight away and even then we got some partnerships going and couldn’t capitalise.
“Salesy (David Sales) got a start, so did Ben (Duckett) but they got out and we’re obviously on the back foot but there is the opportunity to rescue it tomorrow.
“I think we’ve got to bat until at least tea to have a chance of saving the game.”
Ripley also referred to the innings of Simon Katich, who made an outstanding double century, as an example for his side to try and emulate.
He added: “He didn’t miss many balls let alone give many chances and it was a very good example of how to bat in four-day cricket.
“We haven’t had that many centuries to crow about this season and he showed how to make a big score and they are what win you cricket matches.”