Sanderson hails a 'perfect day' for Northants as they take control of clash against Sussex

Ban Sanderson took six wickets for Northants
Ban Sanderson took six wickets for Northants

Bowling hero Ben Sanderson hailed a 'perfect day' for Northants as they took complete control of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash with Sussex at Hove.

The County are on course to claim their first four-day win of the season after they bowled out theit hosts for just 106, their lowest total in 12 years, with Sanderson claiming six wickets.

Bottom of the table going into this match, Northants ended day two on 212 for four in their second innings, an overall lead of 379.

Resuming at seven for two, the Sussex batters had no answer to the unrelenting accuracy of the County's four seamers, with Sanderson the pick of the bunch as he finished with six for 37, his best figures of the season.

And the paceman said: "It's been a perfect day for us.

"That is the sort of day we've been looking for, where we bowl in the right areas and the catches are taken.

"Bowling downhill has been nice for me. There is a cross-breeze which helped me and the ball has swung and I got my rewards so I'm delighted with how the day went.

"Everyone contributed and then we batted really well to strengthen our position. T think it's a case now of how much time we give ourselves to hopefully bowl them out.

"We don't want to give them a sniff. We'll try and play aggressively and try and knock them over again and get that first win which we badly want."

Sussex coach Jason Gillespie was furious with the his players, with the Australian bemoaning the performance with both bat and ball.

"To give away a lead of over 160 runs just wasn't good enough," said the former Austrlian pace bowler.

"The lads know that and they are disappointed with their performance.

"Northants certainly bowled well and I thought Ben Sanderson were very good down the hill, but it's not a 106 all out wicket, it's a good surface. We know we are better players than that.

"We didn't quite get it right with our bowling either when they batted again and they were able to play with quite a lot of freedom but we allowed that.

"We were both sides of the wicket and our lengths were out, and those are the things we need to iron out.

"We have been pretty poor and the lads have been left in no uncertain terms that they have to improve in the next two days."

After dismissing Sussex for 106, the County did not enforce the follow-on and when they batted again Ricardo Vasconcelos (88) and Rob Newton (54) added 108 for the first wicket.

Abi Sakande picked up two wickets but Sussex had long since been consigned to damage limitation.

Sussex had resumed on seven for two and they soon lost overnight batsmen Luke Wells and Aaron Thomason in successive overs.

Brett Hutton picked up Wells and Sanderson claimed his first wicket of the day when Thomason edged an away-swinger to third slip, just as Wells had done.

It set the tone for a dispiriting morning for Sussex who were 26 for five as Sanderson struck again to remove Laurie Evans, who was also beaten by late movement and edged to first slip.

Ben Brown and Delray Rawlins staged a mini recovery to take the score to 49 before Luke Procter straightened one nicely and Brown edged behind.

Rawlins rode his luck at times but briefly broke the shackles to take successive boundaries off Hutton before Sanderson returned to have him taken a second slip for 31.

While Sanderson, Hutton and Procter shared the spoils they were backed up by Nathan Buck, whose six overs contained four maidens.

After lunch, Will Beer was lbw to Hutton for one before Sanderson finished things off.

David Wiese (28), who helped Rawlins add 34 for the seventh wicket, was caught behind and Sakande edged to third slip in the next over.

Northants batted again with a lead of 163 and by tea had extended that to 275.

Vasconcelos and Newton reached half-centuries off successive balls with Newton hitting Beer for six to get there.

Sussex made a breakthrough with the first ball after the resumption when Newton (54) edged to slip to give Ollie Robinson his seventh wicket of the match and there was double success for Sakande who had Alex Wakely (19) caught behind off an inside edge before pinning Vasconcelos for 88 after the South African had struck 13 fours.

Temba Bavuma (25) smashed a waist-high full toss from Rawlins to deep mid-wicket just before the close but it was a chastening day for Sussex and a very good one for Northants.