County Championship: Matt Henry takes 5-36 as Worcestershire thump Northants

Matt Henry Worcestershire
Matt Henry took 27 wickets for Worcestershire at an average of 26.51
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, County Ground, Northampton
Worcestershire 277 & 324-8 dec: D'Oliveira 81; Prasanna 2-14
Northants 148 & 142: Crook 33; Henry 5-36
Worcestershire (21 pts) beat Northants (3 pts) by 311 runs

Worcestershire closed to within one point of Division Two leaders Essex with a thumping 311-run three-day win over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

The visitors added 143 runs before lunch, Ross Whiteley hitting 45 off 36 balls, before declaring on 324-8.

Set 454 to win, Worcestershire's New Zealand paceman Matt Henry claimed 5-36 as Northants were bowled out for 142.

Joe Leach also chipped in with 2-49 to become the leading wicket taker in either division with 38 victims.

Henry's first five-wicket haul of the season came in his final game for Worcestershire before South African fast bowler Kyle Abbott comes in to replace him.

Worcestershire debutant George Rhodes, who hit an unbeaten 31 earlier in the day, also took his maiden first-class wicket when he had Ben Sanderson caught behind.

Despite Essex having a game in hand, back-to-back four-day victories for Worcestershire have seen them emerge as one of the main challengers for the single promotion spot.

Steve Rhodes' side, who now hold a 17-point advantage over third-placed Kent, travel to Chelmsford at the end of August.

Northamptonshire, who have struggled with the bat throughout the season, are still looking for their first Championship win of 2016.

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"We are in the promotion race. I'm very proud of the guys here this week. They've got points to prove and want to play for each other. Our approach and attitude was outstanding.

"Our running between the wickets and ground fielding was testament to where some of the lads are in their careers.

"We showed great character to come back from 54-5 on the first morning. We showed we can bat all the way down and dominated the game from that first afternoon onwards.

"Matt Henry has been an outstanding member of the dressing room. He's bowled well this year and not quite got the rewards - but here he has."

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