Sadler happy as Northants secure draw with Warwickshire

Head coach John Sadler admitted that the County trying to manufacture a positive result in their four-day draw with Warwickshire at Wantage Road was never going to be a realistic option.

By Jeremy Casey
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 10:06 am
Updated Thursday, 30th June 2022, 10:06 am

Northants batted out day four of the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One clash to claim a share of the spoils, closing on 273 for four in their second innings thanks to centuries from Luke Procter, his third of a stellar season, and new overseas signing Ryan Rickelton.

Northants had bowled Warwickshire out in their first innings for 405 early in the day, but the fact the visitors took 146 overs to get there, and that 40 overs were also lost to rain on day two, meant the draw was always going to be the most likely outcome.

The stalemate sees the County stay third bottom in the table, but they are now a healthy 20 points clear of second-from-bottom Somerset, despite not having yet won a game this season.

Northamptonshire head coach John Sadler

The draw was Northants' sixth in seven matches, and some observers were wondering if there might have been an arrangement between the skippers on Wednesday to try and set up a run chase.

But Sadler confirmed that was never an option, and stated that with the division one season only halfway through, there is 'no need to panic or do anything rash'.

Asked if there had been any consideration to manufacture a run chase, Sadler said: "There wasn't enough time really as we lost 40 overs on day two.

"We scored so quickly on day one (Northants’ first innings of 451 took just 103 overs), it put us in a great position, but obviously the time out the game on day two didn't help us with that.

“We've played some brilliant cricket here. We've played some real solid attritional cricket throughout.

"There have been times where we've attacked, there have been times where we've had to soak up a bit of pressure.

"This is what we spoke about at the start of the year.

"So, if somebody had offered this position at the start of April, I'm sure we would have taken it.

"How the next six or seven games look and how they unfold that could be very different.

"But right here, right now, we've played some fantastic cricket throughout this Championship campaign and I think the lads are in a great space.

"There's still so much cricket still left to play, that there's no need to panic or do anything rash just yet. So we're in a good space, we’ve just got to keep going.”

Northants were actually given a bit of a scare early on the final day as they slumped to 10 for two in their second innings after losing Ricardo Vasconcelos and Emilio Gay cheaply, a lead of just 56.

But Procter, who made a career-best 144 not out, and Rickelton (103) soon calmed things down, with the pair putting on 251, a record third-wicket partnership for Northants against Warwickshire, to close the game out.

Asked if those early wickets had the nerves jangling in the home dressing room, Sadler added: "No, not really.

"We spoke at the start of the day that we've got to be professional and do our jobs and not take anything for granted and I thought the two lefties in Proccy and Ryan were brilliant.

"They were so very calming, and it was never in doubt, they played well."

Northants now switch their attention back to white ball cricket, with the Steelbacks playing their final Vitality Blast North Group match at Leicestershire Foxes on Friday night (start 6.30pm).

They then host India in a T20 friendly at a sold-out County Ground on Sunday.

They return to Championship action a week on Monday (July 11) when they travel to Canterbury to play Kent.