Head coach Sadler left to reflect on bad day at the office for Northants

John Sadler was left to rue a bad day at the office for his Northants side as dropped catches proved costly on the opening day of the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One clash with Hampshire.
Northamptonshire cricket head coach John Sadler looks on from the pavilion balcony as his side struggle against HampshireNorthamptonshire cricket head coach John Sadler looks on from the pavilion balcony as his side struggle against Hampshire
Northamptonshire cricket head coach John Sadler looks on from the pavilion balcony as his side struggle against Hampshire

The head coach was also left to mull over his and skipper Luke Procter's decision to bowl after winning the toss, as the visitors eased to 287 for four at the close, with Nick Gubbins and James Vince both scoring centuries.

Gubbins hit 125 and England man Vince 104 not out as Hampshire dominated from lunch onwards, although a couple of late wickets did ensure the County remain the game going into day two.

Things could have been better for Northants, but a clutch of dropped catches in the morning session, with Gareth Berg letting three chances go begging in the slips, were followed by Vince being put down on the fine-leg boundary by Ben Sanderson when on just 25 and Hampshire on 121 for two.

James Vince celebrates reaching his centuryJames Vince celebrates reaching his century
James Vince celebrates reaching his century

And the County were made to pay for those mistakes.

“Fair play to them," said Sadler. "They are two high class players who played very well.

"But yeah, we made it a bit harder for ourselves than we'd like but in terms of conditions and the cold, I think our lads kept going pretty well, because it looked like a chilly one."

On the dropped catches, he said: "We're all in it together so if one of us drops it, we all drop it. Nobody means to drop one, there’s no such thing as an easy slip catch.

"And it's all part of the game unfortunately.

"So, there's no point dwelling on it too much. As long as you do your prep, as long as you put your effort in behind the scenes, then, you win some, you lose some.

"So, what can you say about dropped catches?"

With regards to inserting the visitors after winning the toss, Sadler added: “We actually thought it would do a little bit more than it did.

"We thought there was a bit more moisture in it than the Middlesex game, played two pitches over, a week ago.

"And the way the Middlesex pitch went, we thought that the best opportunity was to try and make use of that new ball.

"To be honest if we'd created a few more chances, if we’d taken those chances, it looks different. But it's easy to look back now and think, well, why did you bowl?

"But the logic, the thought was, there’s a bit more moisture in it, there’s a tinge of green, and we backed our seamers."

Hampshire's Gubbins admitted his skipper Vince may well have bowled as well if they had won the toss.

"When you lose the toss and get stuck in, you want to finish the day batting first and foremost, but to be four down, we’re really pleased with the day," said the left-hander.

"We weren’t sure what to do if we’d won the toss.

"Statistics say you should bowl first here and it usually gets better, so we weren’t sure, but they took some grass off just before the toss.

"So, we were umming and aahhing, but the sun was shining, so I think it was a good toss to lose in the end."

Play is due to resume at 11am on Friday.

Quotes courtesy of Jeremy Blackmore