Skipper Wakely left to rue another Northants batting collapse in Cardiff

Northants skipper Akex Wakely top scored with 82 in Cardiff
Northants skipper Akex Wakely top scored with 82 in Cardiff

Skipper Alex Wakely admitted yet another batting collapse from his team was ‘disappointing’ as Northants let a promising position slip against Glamorgan at Cardiff, losing their final five wickets for just six runs.

In the afternoon session on day one of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash at Sophia Gardens, the County were in good shape at 223 for three, with Wakely and Richard Levi at the crease and with half centuries to their name.

But once Wakely was dismissed for 82, the wickets started to tumble as Northants were eventually bowled out for 281, losing their final seven wickets for 58 runs and final five for six runs in fewer than three overs, with Glamorgan then easing to 21 without loss at the close.

Levi was out for 75, while earlier, Ricardo Vasconcelos, had scored his first half-century for the club, making 52, but again no player went on to make the big score Northants needed to take control of the game.

But although Wakely was disappointed with the collapse, he believes the County are still very much in the game, particularly as they have Sri Lankan leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna in their ranks for his first game of the season.

“I thought It was a pitch where there is plenty in it for the bowlers, and also with Prasanna with us to bowl spin, It could also turn towards the end of the game,” said Wakely.

“But yet again we collapsed and that was disappointing.”

Glamorgan’s bowlers have had a habit in recent games of demolishing the opposing lower order.

They took five wickets for five runs against Derbyshire last week, and against Northants on Monday, after taking the second new ball, they took the last five for six runs in 29 balls.

Northants had no hesitation in batting first after winning the toss on another glorious day, although they had a scare from the first ball of the game, when Luke Procter survived a huge shout for a catch behind the wicket off Timm van der Gugten.

The opening stand was quickly broken however, when Ben Duckett edged one in Michael Hogan’s second over, and was well caught by Nick Selman one handed at second slip.

Procter was then dropped at mid -off, but he was out shortly afterwards when he nicked Rory Smith’s second ball to the wicket keeper.

Vasconcelos, the 20-year-old South African born batsman, overcame a nervous start to play some handsome strokes through the offside, but also played and missed frequently against the seamers.

He was eventually undone by Van der Gugten, who got one to lift from a length and Vasconcelos’ nick was well caught by Cooke diving away to his left.

There then followed a productive partnership between Wakely and Levi, who played watchfully against an accurate Glamorgan attack.

Wakely was the first to pass 50, and he went on to reach his biggest score of the season, before he attempted to cut a ball from Smith, and was well taken at slip by Usman Khawaja.

Eight runs later Northants lost their fifth wicket, and Smith claimed his third wicket, when Adam Rossington, driving away from his body, was caught in the gully.

Steven Crook then joined Levi in a useful partnership of 44 for the sixth wicket, before Van Der Hugten, armed with the new ball, made further inroads by bowling a double wicket maiden.

Levi went to the first ball of the over, when he was caught at second slip from an intended cut, then two balls later, Prasanna attempting to heave Van der Hugten over the top, only succeeded in skying the ball to mid-on.

Worse was to follow for Northants as Crook shuffled across his stumps and was out leg before to Hogan, with van der Gugten ending the innings by having Ben Hutton brilliantly caught by Khawaja at slip, and bowling Ben Sanderson with his next ball.