Keogh hits crucial century for Northants but Derbyshire fight back to leave match in the balance

Rob Keogh scored a brilliant century for Northamptonshire at DerbyRob Keogh scored a brilliant century for Northamptonshire at Derby
Rob Keogh scored a brilliant century for Northamptonshire at Derby
Rob Keogh scored the 17th first-class century of his career as Northants piled on the runs in their Vitality County Championship Division Two clash at Derbyshire at Derby on Saturday - but the hosts fought back to leave the game in the balance at the halfway point.

Keogh, who had missed the previous three matches with a back injury, made a telling impact on his return as he made a crucial 102 from 220 balls, hitting nine fours, as the County recovered from a precarious 121 for four on Friday afternoon to post 422 all out.

The all-rounder is now the seventh Northants player to have hit three figures this season.

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He was given strong support by both George Bartlett (76 from 127 balls) and Justin Broad (75 from 143), compiling partnerships of 124 and 123 respectively.

But the home side batted well in response to end day two on 170 for two, with Brooke Guest unbeaten on 76 and Wayne Madsen 28 not out.

"It's a nice feeling to get a hundred in any game but after a bit of a lay-off it's always nice to come straight back into the team and offer something," said Keogh.

"I almost get the best from myself when we are up against a wall a little bit and to be honest I think it's one of my better hundreds.

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"I felt like I really grafted and dug in, I didn't score as quickly as I usually do but I stuck in and just about got over the line."

Northants did claim an early wicket, when Broad produced a stunning full-length catch at fourth slip to end David Lloyd's innings off the bowling of Ben Sanderson, but the only other wicket to fall in 56 overs was that of Luis Reece, who swiped a Liam Patterson-Whie deliverly to Michael Finan.

On Broad's catch, Keogh said: "It''s a great grab.

"We were winding him up saying the live stream didn't catch it, but it's one of those catches that will be all over social media later on.

"And he also played nicely again when batting, he came in under some pressure, he ground it out and played really well and got his reward."

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Derbyshire all-rounder Luis Reece was happy with how his side performed, and believes there is all to play for in the next two days.

"I think we've played really well in this game," he said. "On Friday we were a bit unlucky and bowled superbly pretty much all day so the key message was go out there on Saturday and do it again.

"We've fought back and there's still a long way to go in this game.

"Sunday is going to be a big day whatever happens and if we can push on and go past them you don't know what could happen in the third innings.

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"When cloud cover comes over here, the pitch does more quicker and when the sun comes out it seems to be a little bit more docile."If we can get some good conditions for batting and then the clouds swarm in when we bowl that would be ideal."

Play is due to start at 11am on Sunday.

Quotes courtesy of Nigel Gardner

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