Newton ton edges County in front

Rob Newton.
Rob Newton.

Rob Newton scored his second century of the season as Northamptonshire edged the first day of their LV= County Championship match against Division Two leaders Derbyshire.

Newton made a brilliant 115 off 174 balls as Northamptonshire closed on 311 for six with his knock including 13 fours and one huge six over mid-wicket.

Derbyshire took wickets at regular intervals throughout the day but could not put the hosts under any real pressure as Tony Palladino and David Wainwright took two victims each.

Northamptonshire won the toss and chose to bat but they lost Kyle Coetzer (five) in just the third over when he left a Palladino delivery that hit off stump.

David Sales then became the second batsman to lose his wicket without playing a shot when he was trapped lbw by Wainwright to depart for 26.

Ireland international Niall O’Brien had started slowly batting as an opener but had pushed his way to 41 by the time he edged Wainwright to Wes Durston at slip.

The hosts reached lunch on 122 for three but they were to lose Alex Wakely very cheaply for 37 in the afternoon when he tamely chipped Jon Clare to Matt Lineker at short mid-wicket.

Newton, however, stuck around to complete a half-century off 87 balls in a quiet session that offered very few chances to the Derbyshire attack.

Northamptonshire resumed after tea on 200 for four with Newton and his captain Andrew Hall hoping for a similarly trouble-free evening.

Sadly for Hall, that was not the case as he was caught by Derbyshire wicketkeeper Tom Poynton off the bowling of Ross Whiteley after crawling to 15 off 78 balls in the fourth over of the session.

The visitors decided to take the second new ball as soon as it became available to them after 80 overs.

But it did not stop Newton from completing the fourth century of his career off 165 balls to follow up the ton he made against Glamorgan at Wantage Road last month.

However, he finally perished with nine overs of the day left when he edged to Poynton to give Palladino his second wicket and fall just two runs short of his career-best score.

James Middlebrook, who made a century of his own in this fixture last season, then reached 50 off 76 deliveries in the final over of the day.

Middlebrook and wicketkeeper David Murphy will resume tomorrow on 50 and 16 respectively.