Sanderson and Gleeson star to keep Northants in promotion race

Ben Sanderson was in brilliant form for Northants (picture: John Mallett)
Ben Sanderson was in brilliant form for Northants (picture: John Mallett)

Ben Sanderson and Richard Gleeson both grabbed five wickets as Northants dominated against Leicestershire at Grace Road on the second day of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash.

Seamers Sanderson (5-38) and Gleeson (5-49) made the most of the conditions after County captain Alex Wakely chose to bowl first at Grace Road.

Leicestershire were bowled out for just 128, leaving Northants in a dominant position.

But after David Ripley's men made their way to 168 for two, a batting collapse left them on 199 for eight at the end of the day.

Needing to win the match to retain a chance of promotion, Northants suffered an immediate blow when leading wicket-taker Rory Kleinveldt pulled up with an injury after bowling just 11 deliveries.

But with the ball swinging in the humid conditions, Sanderson and Gleeson made light of Kleinveldt's absence.

Sanderson had Michael Carberry and Ned Eckersley plumb leg before, before Gleeson produced a bouncing, seaming delivery which Sam Evans, making his championship debut for the Foxes, inside-edged to the wicket-keeper.

Gleeson then accounted for Mark Cosgrove, the Leicestershire captain inside-edging an attempted drive at a full delivery on to his off-stump.

And Aadil Ali became Sanderson's third leg-before victim before Gleeson trapped Lewis Hill LBW and bowled Neil Dexter with an unplayable delivery.

Raine, dropped by Richard Levi at second slip on 15 off Gleeson, and Zak Chappell then counter-attacked to some effect until shortly before lunch.

But Chappell soon edged a Sanderson outswinger to second slip.

Raine went to 50 before steering a Sanderson delivery straight to Luke Procter at point after the break.

And Procter and Rob Newton then set about building a solid platform when the visitors began their reply.

They lost Newton when the score had reached 90, caught behind off the inside edge as he drove without moving his feet at Raine.

But after Wakely went quickly, Procter and Levi added 63 for the third wicket and the pair were looking in control until Procter inside-edged a Raine delivery into his stumps.

That wicket began a collapse that saw Northants lose six wickets while adding just 31 runs, as Raine bowled beautifully in tandem with left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson.

On a wicket that did not turn, Parkinson's drift and guile accounted for three victims, two leg before wicket.

Northants are still in a strong position in the game, and with Notts struggling at Sussex, it may be that a win of any kind could yet be enough to see the County win promotion.