Day of drudgery as County share the spoils

James Middlebrook in action during the final day against Gloucestershire

James Middlebrook in action during the final day against Gloucestershire

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In the end the pitch proved to be just too flat.

A couple of rain delays over the final two days of the LV= County Championship fixture with Gloucestershire didn’t help matters but what transpired was a result of the placid nature of the surface and nothing else.

Northamptonshire’s first innings of 567-4, where they did well to lose four wickets, suggested what was coming and the only way to describe the day’s events was mind-numbing.

There was no seam, no spin, no pace and no bounce, in fact an ideal pitch on which to ply your trade if you were a batsman and the exact opposite if bowling was your bag.

The hosts didn’t look like taking a wicket and the visitors didn’t look like getting out and it was a blessing to everyone who was involved when the players shook hands with Gloucestershire on 227-1.

An 11-point haul taken leaves the County 27 points ahead of third place in the Division Two standings and a further two above fourth, a position occupied by Essex who have a game in hand and who provide the next four-day opposition in a fortnight’s time.

After a 75-minute delay to the start caused by overnight and morning rain, the opening duo of Michael Klinger and Chris Dent eased their way through the 45 minutes before lunch with no problems whatsoever.

Both reached their respective half centuries shortly after the break and this was the cue for Dent to accelerate towards his century which was the fourth of his career.

Klinger, who hadn’t been in any rush, then surprisingly fell to Cameron White’s leg-spin for 78 as an attempted sweep ended up in the hand’s of slip in the last over before the tea interval.

The post-tea proceedings were simply a case of playing cricket because cricket had to be played but it’s another game scratched off with no damage done.