The effort is there but the performances are missing

Maurice Chambers took some heavy punishment as Middlesex racked up a large first innings lead
Maurice Chambers took some heavy punishment as Middlesex racked up a large first innings lead

Northamptonshire’s problems aren’t through a lack of effort according to captain Stephen Peters.

Another poor day for the County concluded with the home side trailing Middlesex by 172 runs with six second innings wickets in hand and it will take a monumental effort on the final day if they are to avoid a heavy defeat.

But while Peters couldn’t hide his disappointment with the way the contest has panned out, he knows his charges are giving him everything.

He said: “I can’t fault the effort of the lads with the ball and in the field.

“Fielding and bowling for 140 overs is hard work and guys are running in all day for me and I can’t ask for much more than that.

“We’ve got to learn our lessons and we’re getting dealt a harsh lesson at the moment in terms of not learning from our mistakes.

“Our mistake in the first few games was not getting enough first innings runs and we’ve done that again and that is proving costly for us.”

The County’s cause wasn’t helped by the last over dismissal of Matt Spriegel, caught at slip via his boot off Joe Denly’s part-time leg-spin and Peters wasn’t happy with the decision.

“I’m pretty angry tonight to be honest,” he added.

“It’s probably best if I don’t go into a certain room (the umpires’) and have a conversation tonight for regret of saying something that, if I was a football manager, I would get fined for.”

But that’s how it is and annoyance with one decision won’t transform the side’s fortunes.

And the captain knows that it will take strong individual performances to trun bad into something more positive.

He said: “We need one or two players to stand up and put their hand up and do something special to turn it round for us.

“We’re getting outplayed, it’s pretty simple at the moment.”