Bowling coach Liddle insists Northants 'still in the game' against Lancashire

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Bowling coach Chris Liddle insists Northants are 'still in the game' as they head into the final day of their LV= Insurance County Championship Division One clash with Lancashire.

After another tough day at the County Ground, Northants ended day three on 211 for five in their second innings, still 81 runs away from making Lancashire bat again.

The visitors produced another dominant performance with bat and ball, as George Balderson hit 115 and number 10 Tom Bailey 75 from 77 balls to lift their team to a massive first innings score of 524 all out.

They had at one point been 189 for six.

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Northants bowling coach Chris Liddle (Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images)Northants bowling coach Chris Liddle (Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images)
Northants bowling coach Chris Liddle (Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images)

Northants then responded with a better batting effort, but closed still well adrift and with a lot of work to do to save the game, despite another half-century from Australian Sam Whiteman (54) in his final innings for the club.

Hasan Azad (30), Emilio Gay (29) and Rob Keogh (29) all made starts without going on, with Gay's dismissial for lbw a contentious one, and it will be down to Saif Zaib (37no) and Lewis McManus (17no) to take the fight to Lancashire on Wednesday morning.

Something that Liddle believes they, and the players coming after them, are capable of doing.

“If can take anything from their innings it's about occupying the crease, biding time and getting yourself in," said Liddle.

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"Their guys did really well. We’ve got to show that same application.

“We're still in the game. We're still fighting. We lost a couple of wickets that we feel unfortunate with, but we're still in a position that hopefully we can get a lead and then see what happens."

And on McManus and Zaib’s partnership, which currently stands at 46, he added: “They’re certainly invested, got plenty of talent and skill to put a big score on the board.

“We’ve got to fight as much as we can.

"We’ve got to grind them down, ground the bowlers down, get them into third or fourth spells, and then see where it takes us from there.”

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Whiteman will leave Northants after today's play, and Liddle praised the Western Australian for his stint at the club.

He departs currently sitting top of the County's first-class averages, having scored 719 runs at an average of 37.84, hitting two centuries and three half-centuries - with two of those coming in this match.

His final innings ended with him playing on to Will Williams trying to guide the ball down to third man, and Liddle said: “The way Sam Whiteman has adapted to English conditions, it's not been easy.

"He’s had some tough games where he's had to bat under lights, it's been gloomy, and it's done quite a bit.

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"He’s developed a method to combat the red Dukes. He's come from Perth to Wantage Road and it's a bit different, so he's worked out a way of scoring. I think he deserved to put a big contribution into this game with the application he showed.

"It’s just unfortunate a shot that probably gets him a lot of runs in Australia was his downfall."

Quotes courtesy of Jeremy Blackmore