County Championship: Northants on brink of promotion by beating Durham

Northants celebrate a wicket taken by Brett Hutton
Northants last played in Division One of the County Championship in 2014
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, County Ground, Northampton (day four):
Northamptonshire 217 & 315: Procter 86*, Levi 60; Raine 4-93
Durham 131 & 232: Eckersley 67*; Hutton 5-59
Northants (20 pts) beat Durham (3 pts) by 169 runs

Northants closed in on promotion from County Championship Division Two by beating Durham at Wantage Road.

They could have gone up with a game to spare, but Glamorgan's win over Leicestershire took the promotion battle into the final round of matches.

Even so, Northants require only four points against Gloucestershire next week to be promoted to the top tier.

Northants completed a 169-run win over Durham in just over 30 minutes on the fourth morning.

Resuming on 212-8 chasing a target of 402, the visitors were eventually bowled out for 232.

Brett Hutton (5-59) made the first breakthrough, trapping Matt Salisbury lbw, and Ben Sanderson removed last man Chris Rushworth without scoring, leaving Ned Eckersley stranded on 67 not out.

The defeat, Durham's fifth of the season, ended their chances of promotion.

Durham coach James Franklin told BBC Newcastle: "Our captain, Ned Eckersley, played very well in the second innings against Northants even though we knew the end was nigh. He showed what quality he has as a performer and a leader and can be really pleased with what he has achieved in this Championship year.

"After four games, when we lost all of them, to have a chance to finish fourth is still something to play for, even though our promotion hopes are over.

"This week might have been a hangover from going to Lord's and getting an amazing win there. That was a big occasion for some of our younger players who had not played there before.

"You get what you deserve in Championship cricket and maybe we have got what we deserved because of those first four matches. But we are a team that can compete in this division and push for promotion, and that is what we will have to do again next year."

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