VIEW FROM THE BLUES: Is it time for Peters to concentrate solely on his batting?

STRUGGLING - Northants' four-day captain Stephen Peters
STRUGGLING - Northants' four-day captain Stephen Peters

If Stephen Peters was pondering resignation during the Warwickshire game, what must he be thinking now after the Lancashire annihilation?

This team is beginning to echo the 1930s one that didn’t win a first-class game for 99 matches from May 14, 1935 to May 29, 1939.

And these hidings are clearly affecting Peters’ form.

I think the only way he can improve his team is to step out of the firing line and just concentrate on his batting.

Victorious Sri-Lankan captain Angelo Mathews’ average has doubled as captain, whereas Peters’ will soon be halved the way it’s going.

This has to stop.

The club that spent a lot of money buying and renovating the ground, and not being able to find the cash to get a loanee or two in to try and stop the rot is concerning.

It looks to us outsiders like we had no real intention of staying up.

Some fans had said that Northants could possibly beat Lancashire with Jimmy Anderson on Test duty, but I disagreed,

Glenn Chapple and Hogg just as capable, as those two defeats in division two proved last season, player-coach Chapple taking his 900th wicket in last week’s game with another five-for.

Anderson was not present and we got stuffed,

Northants conceded 500 runs for the fifth first-class match in a row and back-to-back 600s.

The Old Trafford thrashing would also see the third 300 partnership in as many matches, Ashwell Prince (257) and Steven Croft (168) battering the Lancashire fourth-wicket record against Northamptonshire of 227 between Tyldesley and Eddie Paynter on the Town Ground in Peterborough in 1921.

In fact, the eventual 332 would beat the all-time fourth-wicket record of 299 in the same year by P Holmes and R Kilner at Harrogate for any team against Northants.

These are century old records being smashed by 100 runs!!!

And Lancashire and Prince didn’t let up, there was 138 for the fifth wicket with Jos Butler (87) and then a record 140 for the sixth wicket with Tom Smith (79), beating the 128 Butler and Smith set last year at Northampton!

Prince’s unbeaten 257 was second only to John Crawley’s 270 as highest score against Northants by a Lancashire player.

The home team turning 33 for three into 650 for six sums up how terrible it all was, Lancashire’s highest first-class score against Northants and our seventh highest ever total conceded.

Even Cliff Richard didn’t make this many records in a year! Hey, I didn’t smash that many Cliff Richard records over my thigh in a year!!

We don’t seem to have a bowler who can get any sort of purchase on these harder first-class pitches, and this is only going to continue.

The budget meeting in the winter for boosting the bowling attack must have been very short.

Jackson Bird would have made a difference but was he ever going to come?

Two days in the dirt and you are too knackered too bat, of course, Northants going from a slightly better placed 42 for three than Lancashire’s 33 for three, to a slightly worse 180 all-out, only Richard Levi up for the task with 59 and Andrew Hall a battling 42 not out.

The 500 follow-on proved just too much with Chapple taking five for 51.

With Peters gone second ball for a duck and James Middlebrook out third ball, it was all too much for the fans on social media with volumes of abuse.

Second time up was slightly better with Hall taking the game into the final day with another unbeaten 50 for the innings-and-200 runs smashing.

Yep, it’s our worse ever defeat to Lancashire.

After all these thumpings, it’s becoming more apparent every match that it was Trent Copeland who got us promoted.

He was four first-class cricketers in one, taking big championship wickets, but he was also economic and could bowl long spells, let alone bat big and be a leader on the field.

If the Steelbacks miss Copeland in the championship, then they are in purgatory without Cameron White in the T20 Blast.

As expected, the humiliating championship form has infected the Twenty20 team and without White’s ability to chase down totals and back up the also-absent Alex Wakely’s shrewd leadership, the Steelbacks look rudderless,

It is now four defeats on the trot in the Blast.

Levi and Mohammed Azharullah appear somewhat one-dimensional a year on from Finals Day glory, and the Steelbacks’ chances rest solely on their front-loaded batting in the powerplay.

Once they are out, then it’s generally all over.

We have seen bits and bobs from Steven Crook and Ben Duckett, but also big flops like Kyle Coetzer and Matt Spriegel.

There’s no firepower in the middle order for central slow pitches, and we don’t have the bowling to contain in the last five overs.

David Willey has been rushed back and caught in a paradox where he needs to play four-day cricket to find rhythm in the Twenty20, but he is deemed not fit and match-ready enough to play four-day cricket, and so is bowling poorly in both.

A fit Willey with the ball is our only chance now.

It’s a shame, as the home T20 crowds have been good, and a near full-house against the Yorkshire Vikings pulled in a reported £50,000.

But hammerings at Worcester, Warwickshire and Old Trafford have all but killed the season stone dead, and with more of the same tonight at Wantage Road a concern.

The team selection has been poor and David Sales’ - who isn’t a big fan of the Twenty20 at the best of the times - bizarre inclusion in recent matches sums up that desperation, plodding along at a run a ball.

Why we don’t try Andrew Hall is confusing.

The Lancashire Lightning defeat signaled the end of the season as most of the teams we come up against in this division have star players like Butler, and we have to play them all again in the next eight games.