Leicestershire v Northants: Burns and rain hold up leaders
|County Championship Division Two, Leicester|
|Close, day three: Northants 567-7 dec, Leicestershire 142-3|
|Northants 5 pts, Leicestershire 1 pt|
Northants saw their hopes of a fifth Championship win recede with only three overs possible after lunch on a rain-hit third day against Leicestershire.
Australian Joe Burns reached 67 not out as the home side advanced their score to 142-3 for the loss of Ned Eckersley.
Spinner James Middlebrook took the only wicket to fall, with Eckersley lbw for 43 after a 99-run stand with Burns.
Leicestershire still trail by 425, but Northants need to enforce the follow-on and take 17 wickets on day four to win.
Burns and Eckersley had several anxious moments at the start of play, with Andrew Hall, in particular, finding enough movement to trouble both batsmen.
However, Burns grew in confidence as he moved past his previous Championship best of only 21, striking a glorious straight six off Middlebrook on the way to his 81-ball half century.
VIEW FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC Radio Northampton's Chris Egerton:
"After a heavy storm which drenched the outfield and left the umpires little choice but to call play off when they inspected at 5.00pm.
"The chief highlight was to see Northants paceman David Willey perform a magnificent water slide on the outfield.
"Bonus points alone are now the target for the two sides with one day remaining.
"That will set Northants up for their likely top-two game with Lancashire next week at Old Trafford."