Wakely delighted as Northants cruise to win at Durham

Alex Wakely steered his side to their third Championship win of the season (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Alex Wakely steered his side to their third Championship win of the season (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Northants skipper Alex Wakely expressed his relief after the County claimed a convincing seven-wicket win against Durham at Emirates Riverside.

Wakely's men wrapped things up inside the first two days of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash.

Durham were bowled out for 129 and 133 as Northants' bowlers did the business.

And after losing three early second-innings wickets, the County were steered home by skipper Wakely and Richard Levi.

"It's nice to get a win finally," said Wakely, who has seen his side win three of their 10 Championship games this season.

"We felt as though we could have had five wins on the bounce in the Championship.

"We've been playing some really good cricket that we've been banging on about, but not managing to string a whole game together.

"It wasn't a whole game, it was only two days, but we've batted and bowled well together in both innings and got that win.

"The bowlers have been top drawer for us all season.

"Obviously overhead conditions on the first day helped.

"I wasn't entirely sure at the toss because it looked like a decent wicket.

"The fact that we had so many bowling options was a joy. Richard Gleeson did't bowl in the first innings and we still bowled them out for 130.

"Luke Procter was brilliant, he hasn't had many opportunities to bowl for us this season but when he has he's always come on and gets a wicket for us.

"We had one of those days when every change seemed to work and we kept on getting wickets.

"We restricted them and they never got away and from the first innings we were always in control of the game."

The home side were unable to deal with the Northants bowling attack of Ben Sanderson, Brett Hutton, Nathan Buck, Luke Procter and Richard Gleeson.

And Durham head coach Jon Lewis said: "Batting at home (has been an issue).

"Batting throughout the Championship year hasn't been great. We've had very few days where we'd say it's gone as well as it should have done.

"Amongst the batting group the confidence isn't great.

"At home most pitches have offered the bowlers something. If you're not a confident batting group and there's a little bit going on for the bowlers it becomes difficult, probably more difficult than it is

"Being 130 all out twice is not a reflection of the surface.

"It's a tough surface and it certainly wasn't going to be a high-scoring game, although 130 all out really wasn't enough to give our bowlers to win the game.

"If we set them 150 in the fourth innings that wouldn't have been far off, we were probably 100 runs short in the game of where we could have been.

"Our first-innings totals at home have been affected by the toss.

"In April and September they're definitely going to keep putting us in. If I was coming here I would be doing the same.

"It's worked a couple of times in our favour away from home, not quite as starkly as it does this far north, particularly at the two ends of the season.

"We can dwell on that, or we can man up and say we need to be better and that's what we've got to do."