County Championship: Northants beat Durham in last-over thriller

Alex Wakely
Alex Wakely scored his first half century of the season
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Emirates Riverside (day four):
Durham 166: Buck 6-34 & 376 Steel 128, Collingwood 54; Azharullah 5-72
Northants 338: Holden 124, Cobb 96; Coughlin 5-49 & 205-8: Wakely 84, Newton 54; Coughlin 5-84
Northants (22 pts) beat Durham (3pts) by two wickets
Match scorecard

Northants beat Durham by two wickets with a ball to spare in a Championship thriller at Chester-le-Street.

After the visitors resumed on 44-1, chasing 205 to win, Alex Wakely (84) and Rob Newton (54) shared a second-wicket partnership of 123.

Northants were coasting on 202-5 and needed three runs to win from the final eight deliveries of the game.

But they lost three wickets for the addition of two runs before scrambling a bye off the penultimate delivery.

Rain delayed play until 15:05 BST but Northants eased through to tea, needing another 100 to win, before another rain shower meant they had 17 overs to secure a third victory of the season.

Newton fell to Paul Coughlin (5-84) while Wakely was run out by a direct throw from the boundary by Keaton Jennings.

Northants never looked in trouble until the late flurry of of wickets as Barry McCarthy (2-61) and Coughlin took three wickets between them in seven balls, but they held their nerve in a thrilling finish.

Durham remain bottom with four defeats in five matches, while Northants are now 27 points behind second-placed Kent.

Northants captain Alex Wakely told BBC Radio Northampton: "I didn't watch the last two overs. Rips [David Ripley, head coach] had to tell me what was going on; I'm not very good in those situations.

"I want to try and get us to win games of cricket, there's no point playing for draws... and to do that you've got to be prepared to lose.

"We were going to go all guns blazing there to the end regardless of what the weather was, and fortunately we managed to get a period [of play] in."

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