Ripley admits Northants will 'have to do it the hard way' as they bid to save game at Lancashire
Northants head coach David Ripley admits his team are going to have to ‘do it the hard way’ if they are to avoid defeat in their LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Lancashire.
The County go into the fourth and final day at Old Trafford on 59 for three, a huge 365 runs behind, with Ben Curran, Emilio Gay and Rob Keogh already out of the game.
Ricardo Vasconcelos (22no) and ex-Lancashire man Luke Procter (15no) will resume on Sunday morning, but Ripley knows his team are up against it.
Lancashire started the third day 188 runs ahead on 60 without loss, and although Northants performed creditably with the ball, the home side declared on 296 for seven, a lead of 424.
The County needed a solid start to their second innings, but Saqib Mahmood proved too hot to handle, dismissing Curran and Gay to reduce Northants to 19 for two, and when Tom Bailey dismissed Keogh it was 26 for three.
Vasconcelos and Procter then saw their team through to the close, but Northants' remaining batsmen are going to have to produce something special on the final day to avoid defeat.
“Our strategy was to take as much time out of the game as we could and I thought we did that very well,” said Ripley.
“We then needed to blunt them with that new ball and we weren't able to do it and now it's a bit of a mountain for us to climb and get out of this.
"I thought we finished the last session on top as it was difficult with Matt Parkinson bowling into the rough but it's a really big challenge now for us tomorrow.
"I was very impressed with Saqib Mahmood - I thought he ran in and bowled with good pace, good skills and he moved the ball around.
“It was a good new ball spell and it's caused us a bit of damage and that isn't how we wanted to script that last 20 overs.
“Now we have to do it the hard way."
With the ball in Lancashire’s second innings, there were two wickets for Nathan Buck, and one apiece for Ben Sanderson, Tom Taylor and Keogh, while Steven Croft hit an unbeaten 103 for the home side.