Nottinghamshire v Northants: Wessels ton sets up Notts victory
|LV= County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge|
|Nottinghamshire 409-8 dec beat Northants 248 & 151 by an innings and 10 runs|
|Notts 24pts, Northants 3pts|
Riki Wessels scored a stunning century to set up Nottinghamshire's innings and 10-run win over former club Northants.
After starting the final day on 78, Wessels smashed 158 from 152 balls to set up a Notts declaration on 409-8, with a first-innings lead of 161.
Northants, in reply, had no answer to Nottinghamshire's pace, with Australia international Peter Siddle taking 4-61.
Ajmal Shahzad (4-46) also impressed as Northants were dismissed for 151 and Notts moved up to fourth in the table.
Northants are bottom, without a win in Division One, and 23 points behind eighth-placed Durham.
The hosts began looking for quick runs, but lost captain Chris Read (31) to Andrew Hall (2-86), while Siddle made only four before being caught by Hall off James Middlebrook (2-63)
Shahzad, who made an unbeaten 36 from 25 balls, then joined Wessels and the pair put on 107 off 51 balls for the eighth wicket.
Wessels went from his ton to 150 in only 20 balls, with the help of six sixes, including three off successive balls from Hall.
His flamboyant innings finally came to an end when he holed out to Steven Crook off Muhammad Azharullah (2-86), after hitting a total of 14 fours and eight sixes.
Nottinghamshire's declaration meant Northants had 76 overs to see out in order to earn a draw, but although the majority of their batsmen made starts, Notts took wickets at regular intervals to reduce them to 123-6 at tea.
Shahzad took two wickets in three balls after the interval - including Hall for 27 - to turn the screw, before a 26-run partnership between Steven Crook (26) and Maurice Chambers held Notts up for nine overs.
Samit Patel's first ball of the innings got rid of Crook with a sharp caught and bowled and Shahzad wrapped the innings up when he trapped Chambers leg before for seven, as Notts secured a maximum-point victory for the first time in four years.
BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle:
"Wins in the County Championship are so precious, so vital, and when they are totally unexpected they mean even more.
"Notts shouldn't have got anywhere near the victory line but did so, thanks in no small part to two of the unsung heroes.
"Riki Wessels' innings will be talked about for years. Eight sixes in all, but seven in quick succession at the start of the final day.
"He had help from Ajmal Shahzad, who batted as positively as we've seen at Trent Bridge and then went on to take his best bowling figures with the ball.
"Siddle was Siddle, but it's nice to see the other two share the limelight."
BBC Radio Northampton's Chris Egerton:
"While most neutrals expected Northants to struggle in Division One this season, the nature of this defeat is highly dispiriting for the county's members.
"The chance of a draw was a strong favourite at the start of the final day but then Riki Wessels, who had been dropped on day three, cut loose and flayed his former county to all parts of Trent Bridge.
"Heads went down as Wessels and Ajmal Shahzad pulled a number of balls from outside off stump into the Fox Road Stand over square leg. A brutal 150 came from just over 18 overs in 75 minutes.
"Shahzad and Peter Siddle then took four wickets each as too many Northants batsmen failed to build on their starts.
"Northants supporters will expect a swift response to this humbling loss."