Brett Hutton saluted Northants for a 'great start' as they seized control on the opening day of their key Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash with Worcestershire.
Hutton was the star of the show at the County Ground, taking six for 57 as the away side were bowled out for just 186 after electing to bat first.
Northants finished the day on 140 for three, with Alex Wakely unbeaten on 63, having formed an impressive partnership with Rob Keogh, who made 53.
And Hutton said: "It's a great start and the lads have done the hard yards with the bat too to give us a chance to get a long way ahead in the game.
“It would have been nice to roll them over before lunch but the ball got a older and didn’t do as much and then Joe Leach (who made an unbeaten 53) batted well, but had we been offered that score we’d have been pleased.
“I was pleased at the toss because the wicket had been undercover for a while and if it does anything at Northampton it’s first thing.”
Northants are currently 13 points adrift of second-placed Gloucestershire and third-placed Glamorgan.
Worcestershire are at the other end of the table, sitting second from bottom.
And Worcestershire's head bowling coach, Alan Richardson, said: “Full credit to Northants they bowled really well and then backed it up with the bat.
"The two opening bowlers bowled testing lengths and it was an impressive first session from them.
“It’s a used wicket so we thought it was best to bat first but we didn’t get through that first session.
“We take great pride in batting all the way down and added useful runs in the end and we were disappointed not to score even more, but it was still a really good effort to get to 186 from 30 for six.”