Skipper Vasconcelos praises bowlers as Northants take control

New skipper Ricardo Vasconcelos praised his bowlers as Northamptonshire took control of their opening LV= Insurance County Championship Division One clash of the season.

Ricardo Vasconcelos enjoyed a good first day as captain of Northamptonshire
Ricardo Vasconcelos enjoyed a good first day as captain of Northamptonshire

Playing their first top flight match since September, 2014, the County enjoyed an excellent first day as Gloucestershire were reduced to 164 for eight at the County Ground.

On a cold, at times wet, and very windy day, Vasconcelos was rewarded for his decision to bowl after winning the toss as the visitors struggled.

Indeed, if it wasn’t for an exceptional unbeaten 77 from 158 balls from James Bracey, Gloucestershire would be even bigger trouble.

Emilio Gay celebrates catching Chris Dent

Ben Sanderson was the star of the Northants attack, claiming four for 38 from 19.5 overs, while Gareth Berg ended with two for 32 from 16, and there was a wicket apiece for Tom Taylor and Nathan Buck.

Vasconcelos, in his first match in charge after taking over from Adam Rossington, was delighted with the effort of the Northants attack, but also had some words of praise for the defiance of Bracey.

“This morning, Sanderson and Berg set the tone brilliantly,” said Vasconcelos. "We were on and off, so they could bowl a longer spell, but they went one an over for the first 15 overs.

“Bowlers need rhythm and especially on days like this with the wind howling and coming on and off that’s not the easiest thing to do so credit to our bowlers for sticking at it all day in freezing conditions.”

But he added: “James (Bracey) batted brilliantly. He played and missed a lot, but held his line and never followed the ball.

"That’s all you can do as a batter with the ball nipping around like it was and when the time came he put his foot down.

Sometimes you’ve just got to say well played, but hopefully we can knock him over in the morning.”