David Ripley heaped praise on 'outstanding' South Africa batsman Temba Bavuma after Northants boosted their hopes of promotion with a 72-run victory at Derbyshire.
The County clinched the win at Chesterfield before lunch on day three of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash.
Derbyshire’s prospects of reaching a target of 319 on a pitch that was marked as below average always looked slim when they went out on the third morning needing another 164 with five wickets left.
Tom Lace top scored with 41 and Fynn Hudson-Prentice followed his first innings unbeaten half-century with 26 not out but Luke Procter finished with four for 26 as the home side came up short on 246.
Northants had set the tone for the success by racking up 342 all out in the first innings, with the brilliant Bavuma, who has now finished his spell at Northants, making 134 from 188 balls.
And Ripley said: "It was an important toss to win, getting runs on the board was important and Temba Bavuma’s innings was outstanding. We are grateful for the way he played.
“I think the pitch was just a little bit dry at the start and there was that little bit of uneven bounce for the seam bowlers which I guess means we are going home early.
"I’m just glad we got the points and three batting points so we’ve had a good three days.”
Northants have moved into the third promotion spot, two points ahead of Middlesex and seven ahead of Derbyshire, with four games to go.
The County currently sit 13 points behind second-placed Glamorgan and 41 adrift of table-topping Lancashire.
And Derbyshire head of cricket Dave Houghton said: “We lost the game with a bad session in the middle of the first day.
“We had a magnificent fightback to give ourselves a chance to win but realistically you lose a session by that much you are going to do well to stay in the game.
“I look at the wicket and think back over the game and I didn’t see a batsman get hit on the fingers, I didn’t see any ball crawling along the ground.
"It wasn’t a road, it was a result wicket and I thought it played pretty well.“