Career-bests for Gay and Sales the highlights for Northants head coach Sadler

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The match may have ended in the tamest of draws, but Northants head coach John Sadler felt there were plenty of positives for him to take from the County Ground LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two clash with Middlesex.

It was very much a match for the batters, with a double centurion on each side, and three other players also reaching three figures as 1,105 runs were scored for the loss of just eight wickets over the course of the first three days!

There was no play on the fourth and final day as heavy rain and strong winds forced the umpires to abandon the match at lunchtime, with Middlesex stuck on 553 for two in their first innings, replying to Northants' 552 for six.

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Obvious highlights for the County were a superb 261 from opener Emilio Gay, a career best, and a maiden first-class century for James Sales, and Sadler said: "I think there's a lot of good things out of this game for both sides.

Northamptonshire head coach John SadlerNorthamptonshire head coach John Sadler
Northamptonshire head coach John Sadler

"There are areas to sharpen up on for us, of course, but on the whole, really pleased where we're at for these first two games.

"Emilio gets the headlines with 261, he played magnificently.

"His powers of concentration were incredible and then supported up and down the order, and then Salesy coming in for his maiden first-class century, is always a nice moment."

It was a difficult match for the bowlers for both sides.

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The ECB experiment of using a Kookaburra ball for the opening two rounds of championship has backfired somewhat with the bulk of matches up and down the country being dominated by the bat.

And with the County Ground surface also proving to be a very flat one, it was a tough graft for both the Northants and Middlesex attacks.

“Bowling wise, I don't know if you saw the state of the Kookaburra ball," said Sadler.

"That's obviously a topic of conversation at the minute, up and down the country. Everyone's got their own views on it.

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"But the state of that ball after the 90 overs when we changed it, it wasn't really doing much.

“Our seamers particularly kept running in all day and trying to hit top of off and just not really getting much response.

"The pitch was quite dead and quite flat in the end. Probably a little bit harder than we thought it might have been.

"It's always a difficult time of year for the groundsman, I feel for them really because it was so wet in the spring."

Northants will be hoping to claim a first win of the season when the entertain Glamorgan at the County Ground next up, with the match starting on Friday.

Quotes courtesy of Jeremy Blackmore

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