Top-scorer Gay says Northants happy after productive day one against Foxes

Emilio Gay top-scored for Northants with 88 on day one against LeicestershireEmilio Gay top-scored for Northants with 88 on day one against Leicestershire
Emilio Gay top-scored for Northants with 88 on day one against Leicestershire
Emilio Gay believes Northants are in a great position as they head into the second day of their Vitality County Championship Division Two clash at Leicestershire.

The opener top-scored with 88 from 110 balls as Northants posted 337 for six in their first innings, after being asked to bat on a green-tinged surface.

It was a good day for John Sadler's side, with Luke Procter (64) hitting a fourth half-century of the season and they will resume on Saturday with winter signing George Bartlett unbeaten on 71 from 151 balls, his first 50 for the club since signing from Somerset.

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For the Foxes, Tom Scriven and Scott Currie both claimed two wickets apiece, the latter dismissing Gay, who continued his good start to the season with the bat.

“We feel it was a pretty good day for us," said the left-hander.

"I think whenever you get put in to bat in April conditions you would take 300-plus for six at the end of the day.

“It looked like a bit of a green wicket with plenty of assistance and we would have looked to bowl too, so to have a good start and build on that was really pleasing.

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"It is so important to build a partnership early on because if a side bowls first and gets a few wickets early it can create panic down the order.

“Their bowlers did actually test our defence pretty well in that opening session but there were a few bad balls and that, combined with the good outfield, we just happened to be in good positions to put the ball away.

"Myself and Vasco (Ricardo Vasconcelos, who made 30) are naturally quite aggressive players.

“It got a bit tougher after that first hour. When the lacquer came off and the clouds came over it started to swing a bit more.

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“If you lose a few wickets in quick succession it can spark a collapse so it was important to keep building partnerships.

“When there is weather about, it is about being smart and getting ahead in the game early to build pressure on the opposition, so it is important that we come back on Saturday and build on that score and when it is our turn with the ball we make the most of it.

"It is still a good batting wicket."

On his own performance, Gay added: "It is always nice getting runs early in the season.

"Missing out on a hundred was a bit frustrating but my focus this year has shifted to building on good starts, and rather than getting out for 30 or 40 focussing on how I can go on to get a score that will help the team.

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"My innings today put the team in a good position, so that was pleasing.”

Leicestershire's England leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed finished with one for 34 from 17 overs, and felt his side also enjoyed a good first day.

“The wicket looked like it would do a little bit more and they did bat well but we feel it has been a good day," said the 19-year-old.

“All the fast bowlers stuck at it very well and hopefully we get some rewards on Saturday morning.

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“It was great for me to get a few overs under my belt. The one thing I really want to do this year is to bowl a lot of overs.

“It is nice as a leg spinner to be able to bowl 17 overs on the first day of the match and it was good to pick up a wicket (Ahmed bowled Procter). The ball was a bit short and wide, but a wicket is a wicket.

“It is a good pitch. There is a bit of pace in it too, especially down the hill. Scotty bowled nicely and it would be good to come back tomorrow and dominate the day.”

Play is due to resume at 11am on Saturday.

Quotes courtesy of Jon Culley

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