Rossington reflects on 'great win' as Northants edge ever closer to promotion

Northants beat Durham at the County Ground (pictures: Dave Ikin)
Northants beat Durham at the County Ground (pictures: Dave Ikin)

Red-ball captain Adam Rossington reflected on a 'great win' as Northants moved to within touching distance of promotion from Specsavers County Championship Division Two.

Rossington and Co took just eight overs on Thursday morning to wrap up a mighty victory over Durham by 169 runs under cloudless skies at the County Ground.

Victory, Northants' fifth of the season, moves them to second in the table with a game remaining. Three teams will go up to division one.

With Sussex losing at Derbyshire, Northants will be promoted if Leicestershire can deny Glamorgan victory in Cardiff.

But that looks unlikely, with Leicestershire five wickets down at lunch, still needing 323 runs to win.

However, even if, as expected, Glamorgan win, Northants will only need four points from their final match, against Gloucestershire at Bristol next week, to be mathematically certain of a return to division one for the first time since 2014.

And Rossington said: "It’s a great win.

"We’ve been outstanding with the ball all game and a few of us have chipped in with the bat on a wicket that was tough to bat on for most of the match.

"We found a way to score and almost batted them out of the game.

“Me and Rich Levi we were batting on day two and we knew the wicket was only going to get better to bat on.

"The ball got a bit softer so we wanted to just keep their bowlers out there and coming back for new spells.

"Richard played fantastically well, we got to a score, and then Luke Procter took the game away from them.

“And then the bowlers did just what they’ve been doing all year - they keep running in and trucking away and they find a way to take wickets.”

Northants looked set to wrap up victory inside three days when Durham lost their seventh second-innings wicket in the 46th over, but captain Ned Eckersley played another innings of admirable obduracy, this time facing 134 balls for an a deserved unbeaten 67.

But he couldn’t shield the tail from the second new ball.

Matt Salisbury blocked back 55 balls on the third evening but lasted only eight more deliveries into the fourth morning.

Brett Hutton swung a ball away that started on middle and leg, beat Salisbury’s outside edge and had him plumb LBW on the back foot.

It completed a second five-wicket haul of the season for Hutton and he finished with five for 59.

Hutton and Ben Sanderson have proved a lethal new-ball combination since Hutton’s return to fitness and it was Sanderson who took the final wicket as Chris Rushworth poked a length ball to Ben Curran at point to record a 19-ball duck.

The margin of victory reflected Northants' dominance of the game from the moment skipper Rossington launched a brutal assault on the first afternoon when his side were struggling at 150 for eight.

He now boasts an impressive record of five wins and three draws from eight matches since taking over from Alex Wakely in May. A permanent appointment as captain surely awaits.

As for Durham, they were left to reflect on a tame end to their promotion challenge after arriving in Northampton on the back of going unbeaten in eight matches and winning five of those games.

But they were outplayed and captain Eckersley was the only batsman to show sufficient resistance against Northants' probing attack.

“Our captain played very well even though we knew the end was nigh,” said Durham head coach James Franklin.

“Ned showed what quality he has as a performer and a leader and can be really pleased with what he has achieved in this Championship year.

“This week might have been a hangover from going to Lord’s and getting an amazing win there.

"That was a big occasion for some of our younger players who had not played there before.

"I am not making excuses, these are professional players, but it's also a young squad.”

Ben Sanderson and his fellow bowlers did the business

Ben Sanderson and his fellow bowlers did the business

Adam Rossington was key for County

Adam Rossington was key for County