Nottinghamshire v Northants: Hosts lead by 91 runs as 20 wickets fall on day one

Riki Wessels
Riki Wessels' score of 69 took Notts from 88-4 to 213 in their first innings
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Trent Bridge (day one):
Nottinghamshire 213: Wessels 69; Azharullah 5-63 & 19-0
Northants 141: Cobb 46*; Hutton 3-25, Wood 3-35
Nottinghamshire (4 pts) lead Northants (3 pts) by 91 runs

Division Two leaders Nottinghamshire took control against Northants as 20 wickets fell in a day at Trent Bridge.

After electing to bat, Riki Wessels' 69 from 80 balls ensured Notts reached 213 as seamers Mohammad Azharullah (5-63) and Richard Gleeson (4-38) impressed.

But Brett Hutton (3-25) led Notts' seam attack, with Josh Cobb (46 not out) top-scoring in Northants' 141.

Notts, who are 35 points clear at the top of Division Two, finished the day on 19-0, with a lead of 91 runs.

Nottinghamshire have won six and drawn four of their 10 County Championship matches this season to become frontrunners for the Division Two title, but they were forced to battle against third-placed Northants.

In seamer-friendly conditions, the contributions from Wessels and Steven Mullaney (58) proved crucial before Luke Wood (3-35) and Jake Ball (2-32) made early inroads with the ball to show the side are not feeling the absences of pacemen Stuart Broad, James Pattinson and Luke Fletcher.

Notts seamer Hutton's three wickets followed his 10-wicket match haul in the innings victory over Derbyshire in his last County Championship outing at the start of the month.

Nottinghamshire's Brett Hutton told BBC Radio Nottingham:

"It's all going well for me at the moment and I hope it carries on for as long as it can. But, most importantly, we are in a strong position and hopefully can capitalise on that.

"We knew they were a good bowling attack and that the pitch would probably do a little bit early on but it had a little bit more pace than we expected but we assessed it quite quickly.

"Steven Mullaney was outstanding through the tricky new ball period and then Riki showed his experience to bat through with the tail and get us past 200."

Northants head coach David Ripley told BBC Radio Northampton:

"When we were looking at the wicket this morning I wouldn't have envisaged that that would be the outcome of the day. It looked a goodish pitch with a little tinge of green and that made us wonder as to whether to bowl or bat.

"The overhead conditions and the sun meant that both sides thought that batting would be the safest option. There was some good seam bowling and some indifferent batting, so the game has rolled on quickly.

"We bowled well and didn't get the rewards we deserved in the first hour. We went past the bat quite a bit. Riki Wessels and his partnerships towards the end hurt us a little bit and now we are going to have to fight hard to get ourselves back in the game."

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