Skipper Young believes honours even against Lancashire after day one

New Northants skipper Will Young believes honours ended 'sort of even' after day one of the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One clash with Lancashire at the County Ground.

By Jeremy Casey
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 8:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 9:27 am

On a day shortened to 72 overs instead of 96 due to the extreme heat conditions that hit the UK on Tuesday, the County closed on 218 for seven, with Lewis McManus unbeaten on 59.

Young won his first toss as County skipper after he took over from Ricardo Vasconcelos, and would have feared he had made the wrong choice as his side slumped to 124 for five.

But Rob Keogh (54) and McManus got Northants back into the game, and the Kiwi feels his side are still in a decent position going into day two.

Northants skipper Will Young compared conditions at the County Ground on Tuesday to playing cricket in Dubai

“It was a used wicket and the word from the groundsman was the moisture content was quite low in the wicket," said Young, who was dismissed for just two. "Both signs suggested batting first but it was green.

"So that was in the back of the mind to perhaps have a bowl, but in the end with the balance of the side we went with and also the Lancashire side, we decided to have a bat.

"We would have liked a few more batsmen in the hut. But I suppose we finished the day sort of even, although we'd love to push towards 300 and make a decent fist of that first innings total.

“Somewhere between that 250 and 300 mark I think is a decent first innings score.

"We think the pitch might give a bit of turn later and obviously after what happened last game (against Kent) our spinners are in good form.

"So, hopefully that plays into our hands a little bit."

Young also had words of praise for wicket-keeper/batsman McManus, who is on loan at Wantage Road from Hampshire.

“Lewis McManus is a great man to have in the dressing room as well as a tidy keeper and as we saw, he can offer a lot with the bat to the side," said the 29-year-old.

"His partnership with Rob Keogh was a really valuable one.

"They came together at 124 for five when we were in a bit of trouble and they got us out of it. Unfortunately, we just lost a couple more than we would have liked at the end."

The game was cut short due to the sweltering heat in Northampton on Tuesday, with Young - who has played cricket all over the world - comparing conditions at the County Ground to Dubai!

“This is right up there. It's a dry heat," said Young when asked if he had ever played in hotter conditions.

"It sort of reminds me a bit of playing in Dubai or Abu Dhabi or something like that, like a really dry heat with that hot wind coming across the ground.

"But I've never had a game of cricket, which has been shortened due to the heat. So it's definitely a first there.”

Play will resume at 11am on Wednesday at the County Ground.