Ripley points a finger at the County’s batting troubles

Rob Newton was the fifth wicket to fall as Northants were bowled out for 151
Rob Newton was the fifth wicket to fall as Northants were bowled out for 151
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The absence of partnerships was at the root of Northamptonshire’s innings and 10-run defeat to Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in the LV= County Championship.

After conceding a first innings deficit of 161, the County were bundled out for a woeful 151 as Peter Siddle and Ajmal Shahzad shared eight wickets between them.

Only three batsmen passed 20 - Andrew Hall top scored with a season’s best 27 - and the fifth-wicket partnership between Hall and Rob Newton, which realised 30, was the highest of the innings.

And head coach David Ripley is all too aware that this isn’t up to scratch.

He said: “We had quite a lot of guys in double figures but we never got a partnership that suggested we weren’t going to be shaking hands at 5 o’clock.

“We’ve had one 100 partnership so far this season which was in the first innings. We haven’t established a pair of guys in, looking settled, and looking like they’re going to get hundreds themselves.

“The card today suggested the same thing. We haven’t had a partnership of any substance that would take a little bit of heart out of Notts, to blunt them and swing the momentum back our way.

“If we have had it going for us it hasn’t been for long enough.”

But Ripley did praise the efforts of former Northants man Riki Wessels, who motored from his overnight 78 to finish with 158 which included eight sixes in a calculated assault, and he acknowledged that this put the ball firmly in the hosts’ court.

He added: “Momentum was built around that, it was a fine innings.

“From our perspective, we had dropped Riki on 20 or so and that hurts but he made it pay and took the game by the scruff of the neck and once that happened the momentum was with Notts.”