Northants’ attack shines in Bristol

David Willey celebrates taking the wicket of Gloucestershire's Will Gidman
David Willey celebrates taking the wicket of Gloucestershire's Will Gidman

David Willey took his LV= County Championship wicket-tally to 15 in five innings by taking 4-71 on the opening day against Gloucestershire at Bristol.

Thanks largely to the left-arm seamer, the home side were able to post only 192 after winning the toss, 18-year-old wicketkeeper Cameron Herring top-scoring with 43 in his first Championship innings.

Steven Crook (3-47), James Middlebrook (2-4) and Trent Copeland, who conceded only 26 runs from 18 overs, provided able support for Willey. By the close the visitors had replied with 107-3.

Gloucestershire’s County Ground is a building site at the moment with ground development work continuing behind the bowler’s arm at both ends.

Perhaps that contributed to a tentative batting display by the hosts, who were 9-2 in the seventh over, with Willey having Chris Dent taken in the slips and bowling Dan Housego pushing forward.

Michael Klinger was caught behind playing forward to Crook for 23 and, with the ball moving in the air and off the seam, may have regretted his decision to bat.

Crook accounted for Alex Gidman, on 20, as he was caught at first slip by Andrew Hall and it was 70-5 when Hamish Marshall was caught behind off Willey for eight in the final over before lunch.

Will Gidman offered a second catch to Sales to give Willey his fourth wicket with the total on 90. And, although Benny Howell (31) looked in better form than most, he had his stumps rearranged by Crook pushing forward to make it 111-7.

Herring and Jack Taylor then put together an attractive stand of 48, which ended when off-spinner Middlebrook was introduced into the Northants attack.

He accounted for Taylor with the score on 159 as the batsman skied to mid-off, having faced 42 balls and hit four fours in his 31. David Payne then was stumped by David Murphy off the medium pace of Hall for a duck.

Herring, who had come in at 90-6, was last man out, stumped advancing down the track to Middlebrook, having hit eight fours in an 81-ball innings of immense promise.

The teenager’s good day continued when he dived to catch Kyle Coetzer for 24 off Will Gidman to break a Northants opening stand of 41.

Sales pulled a simple catch to mid-wicket off Liam Norwell and departed kicking himself for five. Then Stephen Peters, on 34, repeated the shot against the same bowler and was brilliantly caught by Will Gidman at mid-on.