A brilliant century from opener Ben Duckett has helped put Northants in total control as they go into day three of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash against Glamorgan at Cardiff.
It has been a frustrating season for the England batsman, who prior to this game at Sophia Gardens had managed just one half-century in first-class cricket in 2018.
But he regained his touch in sensational style, hitting an unbeaten 111 as Northants cruised to 169 without loss in their second innings, a lead of 196 after Alex Wakely’s men had secured a first innings lead of 27 by bowling Glamorgan out for 254, with Ben Sanderson and Nathan Buck both claiming three wickets.
Duckett’s ton was also the first time a Northants batsman had reached three figures against another county this year.
Earlier, Glamorgan’s Australian import Usman Khawaja made history as he hit 103 to become the first player in the Welsh county’s history to score a century in his first three Championship matches, adding to his centuries against Warwickshire (125) at Edgbaston and Derbyshire (126) at Swansea.
The Australian left-hander’s innings was the highlight of Glamorgan’s innings as he brought up his century from 138 deliveries, striking 16 fours and two sixes, before he was caught at fine leg by Richard Levi off Brett Hutton for 103.
Earlier in the day, Luke Procter had taken two Glamorgan wickets in the first session as the Welsh county battled to 115 for three in their first innings reply to 281.
Nick Selman was first to depart, touching an out-swinger to keeper Adam Rossington off Sanderson for 29.
Jack Murphy was then trapped lbw for 21 from Procter’s second delivery of the day before Owen Morgan was caught behind for 20, having struck four fours. Kiran Carlson, off the mark from the sixteenth delivery he faced, was struck in front by Sanderson, who bowled Chris Cooke two balls later before Andrew Salter was lbw to Hutton, with Glamorgan in trouble on 195 for six.
Ruaidhri Smith was dropped by Levi at second slip on two, before Buck took three wickets in successive overs, getting Smith caught behind before bowling both Prem Sisodiya and Timm van der Gugten.
Khawaja was eventually dismissed for 103 as Glamorgan were all out for 254, a first innings deficit of 27.
The County’s openers Procter and Duckett started their second innings and the final session aggressively, building a valuable partnership and making Glamorgan’s bowlers suffer as they built a sizeable lead.
Duckett brought up his half century from 52 deliveries and his century from 92, as the Northants continued to dominate, with Procter also posting a half-century as the visitors built a comprehensive lead going into day three.