'It is massive for me' - Russell delighted as he makes first-class debut for Northants

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Alex Russell says it was 'massive' for him to be handed a Championship debut by Northamptonshire at Hampshire on Thursday morning.

On his first-class bow, the 21-year-old leg-spinner showed high promise with a number of challenging deliveries despite going wicketless.

And Russell said: “I had an idea last night that I was playing but found out for sure this morning.

"It was nice news to hear.

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Alex RussellAlex Russell
Alex Russell

"It is massive for me, it is what I’ve worked for and four-day cricket is the pinnacle.

“I thought I bowled nicely. There were a few bad ones and nervous ones but overall I created a few chances.

"I was happy with 90 per cent of the balls, that’s just leg spin bowling!"

Northants lost the toss at the Ageas Bowl and James Vince made sure Hampshire put themselves in a dominant position with a commanding 95.

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Around Vince, Fletcha Middleton impressed with 40 and Ben Brown with 44 before Liam Dawson chalked up 56 not out.

With the ball, James Sales was the pick with two for 32, while Jack White claimed two for 65.

“We started a bit slow in the first 30 minutes before settling in an grafting away on a flat wicket," Russell said.

"All in all we have done well, we just need to stick at it and get them out quickly in the morning.

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“I think it will dry up and spin but at the minute it is flat and not great carry either. It is a wicket you have to toil away on.

“Hopefully we can get those last four wickets as quickly as we can and then we need to cash in while we bat as it should still be nice to bat on."

Hampshire all-rounder Dawson said: “It was nice. I have work hard in the last month and tried to cash in when I feel good.

"It is another big day tomorrow where I will try to get back in and get as many runs as I can.

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“County cricket can be tough when you get into a run of low scores and you start to overthink things.

"I’m trying to give myself the best chance in training and hopefully I can continue to score.

“The bounce is already going a bit lower on day one than what it normally does.

"We have done well to score 331 runs on day one.”