Nottinghamshire v Northamptonshire: Hosts win to stretch lead at top of Division Two
|Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Trent Bridge (day four):|
|Nottinghamshire 213 & 344-9 dec: Wessels 116, Patel 64; Azharullah 3-73|
|Northants 141 & 253: Newton 53, Cobb 38; Patel 3-17, Ball 3-86|
|Nottinghamshire (20 pts) beat Northamptonshire (-2 pts) by 163 runs|
Nottinghamshire needed just over an hour on the final day at Trent Bridge to seal a seventh Championship win in 11 games.
After resuming on their overnight 167-4, Northants lost both Alex Wakely and Rory Kleinveldt to Brett Hutton.
Jake Ball removed Russell Cobb before Samit Patel took the final two wickets.
With injured Adam Rossington unable to bat, Northants were all out for 253 to lose by 163 runs, Notts stretching their Division Two lead to 51 points.
Their next Championship fixture, at home to Worcestershire at Trent Bridge next week (5-8 September) will pitch together top against second.
But, before that, they go into this Saturday's T20 Blast finals day as the bookies' favourites.
Injury-hampered Northants, having claimed just three bowling bonus points from the game, were docked five points for a slow over rate, meaning that they actually came out of the game with an overall total of minus two.
They will drop to fifth, ahead of next week's home meeting with another of their promotion rivals Sussex, when they now expect to be without two of their three players injured in this game, Rossington (broken thumb) and Ben Sanderson (hamstring), who both could be out for the rest of the season.
Notts head coach Peter Moores:
"Other sides at the top keep winning. Obviously, Sussex won on Wednesday and Worcestershire are doing well, so it makes next week's game against them into a really big game.
"Because we've been competing on three fronts we haven't really had any games this season that haven't been big games, so we'll tackle that after Saturday's T20 Finals Day.
"It's nice when you've had so many people influence games. That has been one of the most pleasing things for me. We haven't looked for a draw yet, we're always looking to win games and we'll carry that philosophy through."
Northants head coach David Ripley:
"I thought this would be a good benchmark for us because they are the best team in the league and they have an extremely string batting line-up. It was a good test but obviously we came up short.
"The biggest disappointment because we were well-beaten. Riki Wessels was the big difference, with his two individual contributions. Without that it might have been tighter.
"On the injury front, Adam Rossington has a broken thumb but Alex Wakely's X-ray has come back clear, so hopefully he'll be OK for the next game.
"Ben Sanderson's hamstring injury means he will be out. He's having a scan tomorrow but you kind of fear the worst, so the two of them might be out for the rest of the season."
On points deduction: "That's not good. We talk about it far too much and we need some action. That's going to hit us because we go back with minus points. In the past we've not been promoted out of this division by just one point, so every point is vital and we've just lobbed five away."