Northants v Worcestershire: In-form Pears on top on first day at Northampton

The 10 Northamptonshire wickets were shared between Worcestershire's seamers (from left): Joe Leach (3-36), Jack Shantry (3-54), Ed Barnard (2-50) and Josh Tongue (2-62)
The 10 Northamptonshire wickets were shared between Worcestershire's seamers (from left): Joe Leach (3-36), Jack Shantry (3-54), Ed Barnard (2-50) and Josh Tongue (2-62)
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, County Ground, Northampton (day one):
Northamptonshire 238: Wakely 49, White 47; Leach 3-36, Shantry 3-54
Worcestershire 108-2: Mitchell 52*, D'Oliveira 35
Worcestershire (3 pts) trail Northants (1 pt) by 130 runs
Match scorecard

Worcestershire maintained their fine start to the season as they bowled out Northamptonshire for 238 on the first day of their County Championship Division Two match at Wantage Road.

Looking to build on their three straight wins, skipper Joe Leach led from the front again, taking 3-36.

Jack Shantry (3-54), Ed Barnard and Josh Tongue shared the other wickets.

After Brett D'Oliveira went for 35, fellow opener Daryl Mitchell's unbeaten 52 helped the visitors close on 108-2.

Fresh from their 243-run opening stand to set up last week's innings win against Derbyshire, the pair this time put on 75 before Nathan Buck removed D'Oliveira's middle stump, then Rory Kleinveldt pinned Tom Fell leg before wicket for a six-ball duck.

Worcestershire, who have a five-game Championship winning streak going back to last season, have won their last four meetings with Northants.

New captain Leach, who took career-best match figures of 10-122 when the two sides met at New Road in April, now has 25 wickets for the season - from only seven innings.

Following an uncontested toss on a cloudless day in Northampton, the home side were playing their first game of Championship cricket since that match finished on 21 April, prior to the One-Day Cup break.

Northants captain Alex Wakely told BBC Radio Northampton:

"It's a pretty disappointing day. They bowled really well this morning, in partnerships and dried the scoreboard.

"We were probably going to bat anyway because it looked like a bat first pitch.

"We bowled poorly to start with but we did put some runs on the board and now we've got to come backpon day two and try to stay in the game."

Worcestershire assistant coach Matt Mason told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"It was a really good day for us. We had a lot of discussion about what we should do. The pitch had a lot of dead grass but we took the brave decision to bowl first.

"The ball seemed to go through periods of doing something. The key was just sticking to our plans and we got our rewards.

"The guys bowled very very well and then, to bat like we have, we've put ourselves in a great position."

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