Same story, different day for coach Ripley

Steven Crook bowled eight expensive overs on the third day at Trent Bridge
Steven Crook bowled eight expensive overs on the third day at Trent Bridge

Deja vu would probably be the best way to sum up Northamptonshire’s day at Trent Bridge.

As has been the case in every LV= County Championship outing so far this season, the County moved themselves into a decent position only to squander their hard work and the end result is they will face a battling day tomorrow to earn their draw points.

Having been bowled out for 248 - they were 107-0 at one stage on the second afternoon - the visitors reduced Nottinghamshire to 30-3 but three dropped catches and some average bowling enabled the hosts to close on 259-5 with the chance to build a more substantial advantage in the morning.

And as head coach David Ripley admitted, his charges need to start grasping their chances when they arise.

He said: “It’s been the story of our campaign so far in that we get a bit of a foothold and then haven’t been able to force it home.

“We were 100-0 and then we had them 30-3, we haven’t built on those positions and we’re playing against good teams who wrestle the initiative back.

“Sometimes it’s not about what we don’t do but what the opposition are doing which makes it frustrating because we’re not backing it up session after session.

“We need to keep creating these kinds of opportunities and then capitalise on them.”

By and large the County’s bowling has been solid if unspectacular this year and today was a case in point with the exception of the out of form Steven Crook who had a miserable day with the ball.

His eight overs, which became increasingly erratic, cost 62 but Ripley had words of sympathy for his all-rounder.

He added: “The three seamers (Andrew Hall, Maurice Chambers and Muhammad Azharullah) all bowled pretty well and threatened at times but unfortunately Steven (Crook) wasn’t quite at his best.

“That’s the game where we’re not at our best all of the time and Steven is trying his proverbials off but it’s just not quite happening for him at the moment.”