Matt Spriegel had words of praise for Jos Buttler and Tom Smith after the second day’s play of the LV= County Championship clash with Lancashire.
Northamptonshire were in a strong position shortly after tea with the visitors 130-5, a lead of just 85, but Buttler and Smith put on an unbroken 114 which means Lancashire now lead by a commanding 199 with two days to go.
And Spriegel, who made an excellent 62 in the County’s first innings of 164, said: “They played well, they’re both very experienced players and they came out positively and put our bowlers under pressure.
“They rode their luck at times but played very well.
“I don’t think that we bowled badly but they put us under pressure and it happens sometimes. You have to take a few of your catchers out and put a few on the boundary which enables them to rotate the strike.
“We had a couple of half chances near the end of the day and if we’d have taken one of those we could’ve maybe got one more out.”
The County have seven overs to go before the second new ball is due in the morning and Spriegel believes this, and the period at the start of their fourth innings run chase, will be crucial to the outcome of the contest.
He added: “We’ve got the new ball to come in the morning which is going to be important and if we can try to make sure they go nowhere in the first half an hour and then make inroads with the new ball we can maybe chase 220 or 230 or 280.
“The new ball is a crucial time, when we’re bowling and then when we bat the second time around.
“The wicket has got a bit harder which might mean the ball won’t jag around quite as much when it gets a bit soft.”.