Procter backing Northants bowlers to make inroads at Edgbaston

Ton-up star Luke Procter is confident he and the rest of Northamptonshire bowling attack is capable of taking the 18 wickets still needed to force victory against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

By Jeremy Casey
Friday, 13th May 2022, 6:56 pm
Luke Procter scored his second century of the season on day two against Warwickshire - now he has work to do with the ball
Luke Procter scored his second century of the season on day two against Warwickshire - now he has work to do with the ball

The County closed day two in an incredibly strong position, with the home side struggling a little at 88 for two in reply to Northants’ mammoth 597 for six declared.

Procter was the main man with the bat on day two, as he hit an unbeaten 100 to become the third County player to reach three figures in the match, following on from Ricardo Vasconcelos (156) and Will Young (134) on the opening day.

The total was Northamptonshire’s highest evert against Warwickshire, which is all the more remarkable when you consider the home side won the toss and asked the County to bat.

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As well as Procter’s 100 not out, there was 66 from Josh Cobb and 45 from Emilio Gay, and with Jack White and Matt Kelly then grabbing a wicket apiece, it is John Sadler’s side that is very much in the ascendancy.

They now have two full days to try and ram home that superiority, and Procter, who is a key part of the bowling attack, says Northants are more than capable of doing just that.

"I dug in a little bit today and the lads played really well around me and played their shots and kept the runs ticking all day,” said the former Lancashire man.

"The ball is actually doing a bit so I am pleased with that knock and hopefully we can chip away a little bit tomorrow and take a few wickets.

"I think if we put enough balls in the right area we can get 18 wickets.

"The pitch is drying up nicely and churning up and we have got two spinners so hopefully they will come into play.”

Procter’s century was the left-hander’s second of the season, and he is currently averaging a shade under 119 in the top flight of English cricket.

The 100 was the sixth in first-class cricket, and the 33-year-old admits he intends to prolong his current purple patch for as long as possible.

"There are some tough times in cricket but, at the moment, it is going really well so long may it continue,” said Procter, who also scored an unbeaten 83 in last week’s defeat to Surrey..

"I am enjoying it at number four. It gives me enough time to bat whereas batting at six or seven I often end up batting with the tail.

"I enjoy division one cricket. It is tough and you need to fight and that brings the best out in me.

"I am older know and feel that I know my game a lot better than when I was a young lad so long may it continue."

As far as Warwickshire are concerned, this match has, so far, been little short of a nightmare.

Aussie fast bowler Nathan McAndrew was the pick of the home attack, taking three for 121, and he said: "Having won the toss, this is obviously not the situation we envisaged, but we didn't start well with the ball and they got away from us.

"I don't think we bowled too badly after the first hour on the first day, but they had two quality batters in and have really controlled the game. They batted really well so full credit to them.”

Play resumes at 11am at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Quotes courtesy of Brian Halford