Sadler proud of Northants players despite defeat at Kent

John SadlerJohn Sadler
John Sadler
Northamptonshire head coach John Sadler stressed how proud he is of his players despite their seven-wicket defeat at Kent.

Ben Compton’s unbeaten 114 helped the hosts to victory in the LV= Insurance County Championship season opener at Canterbury.

Compton produced a crucial stand of 167 with Jack Leaning, who made 67 not out, as Kent recovered from 60 for three to successfully chase down a target of 227.

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Earlier, Rob Keogh had scored 116 not out and Gareth Berg 56 as Northamptonshire posted 331 in their second innings, the duo sharing a stand of exactly 100 that set up an initially taut run chase.

And Sadler said: “Firstly I want to say how proud I am of our lads because we were behind the game after day one, got the rough end of the toss, but we fought back well.

"The result makes it look like an easy win, but up until tea in day four we were right in that game.

“We thought that we’d try to get them five down needing a hundred, and we thought we’d take that, but credit to Kent, they’ve played well and stuck in there, particularly their bowlers when they were a bowler down.

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“Their two tall quicks kept running in all day, so credit to them, but I’m proud of how we went about our business.

“We thought there was enough time left to win the game and the intention was to win the game.

"We turned up thinking we don’t need to force anything and there’d be a natural progression in the game.

“We wanted to bat for an hour and see where it takes us and if we were in a position to put our foot down we’d have taken it, but ultimately the game ran its natural course.

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“Keogh’s hundred was fantastic, he played with some really responsibility and real intelligence. We know how good he is, but the way he went about is business under pressure was great.

"For Chris Tremain to get five in his first innings on debut was fantastic. He came off with cramp, but there was no way he wasn’t going to get back out there and do his bit.

“It was a good lesson for the younger lads really, that sometime you have to bowl with a bit of pain. He was up there today ripping his nail out or something, there was blood everywhere, just to get himself ready to bowl. The heart he showed was fantastic, we know we’ve got a good’un there.”