Nottinghamshire 255 (Clarke 76, Sales 4-24) beat Northamptonshire 158 (Vasconcelos 62, Hutton 5-37) and 72 (Paterson 5-16) by an innings and 25 runs
South African international Paterson proved unplayable with Northamptonshire having few answers in overcast conditions offering prodigious movement for the seamers. Paterson posed a constant challenge around off-stump with a metronomic line and length. His first four scalps came in an opening burst of eight overs, all thanks to catches behind the wicket which left the Steelbacks reeling at 11 for 4. Despite Saif Zaib (26) putting up some resistance, they never recovered and were all out for 72.
It follows Northamptonshire’s first-innings collapse on day two when they lost seven wickets for 17 runs and a similar dispiriting batting display in their last home game against Hampshire which also ended in an innings defeat.
Northamptonshire head coach John Sadler said: “It’s not good enough. After the defeat to Hampshire, I was churning a little bit and some strong words were said by everybody in the dressing room because it was the way we just capitulated. But today is more of a disappointment really, just deflating. Because we’re better than that and it’s not good enough. We have to come back with some personal pride.”
But any hopes that their efforts would open the game back up for Northamptonshire were soon dashed when Paterson had ball in hand.
Nottinghamshire resumed one run behind on 157 for 4 in testing conditions, the home bowlers frequently beating the bat and drawing the batters into playing outside off-stump.
By this stage Nottinghamshire were 184 for 6, just 26 ahead and Northamptonshire were hopeful of making short work of the lower order. But Liam Patterson-White stuck around with Clarke in a stand worth 58 in 17 overs to steady the ship.
In between unplayable deliveries, Northamptonshire were often guilty of straying from their line allowing Nottinghamshire to cash in, with Clarke passing 50 thanks to a wide legside delivery. Fielding mishaps did not help their cause either as they conceded 14 byes and five wides, while Patterson-White was dropped in the slips on 9.
Ultimately Nottinghamshire’s last four wickets folded quickly, James (15) playing an extravagant drive to Sales giving Vasconcelos a fourth slip catch.
Clarke had played largely fluently, sweetly timing the ball to the boundary, stroking 10 fours in four hours at the crease. But he had also played and missed on several occasions and his innings ended in ignominious fashion, when he flashed needlessly at a wide ball from Sales, steering it straight to deep backward point where Buckingham took a good catch.
Northamptonshire’s batting jitters returned immediately with both openers back in the dressing room inside two overs thanks to Paterson who picked up Vasconelos driving loosely low to first slip and Emilio Gay who played in similar fashion, this time giving third slip a comfortable catch.
With Brett Hutton keeping up the pressure at the other end, the procession continued when Sam Whiteman prodded at one just outside off-stump from Paterson with Clarke taking a good tumbling catch behind while Rob Keogh fell next ball when he was squared up, the ball flying to third slip.
Zaib provided some stubborn resistance, starting to rebuild the Northamptonshire innings in a stand of 35 with Sales, but he rode his luck at times, ultimately falling when he drove James in the air to Slater who took a good tumbling catch at mid-off. Sales departed two runs later when he edged Mullaney behind while Harry Gouldstone flashed at a wide ball from Hutton sending it straight to point.
Gareth Berg gave Paterson his fifth wicket when he flashed at one straight to Ben Duckett in the slips who could only parry it, with Hutton catching it on the rebound. Jordan Buckingham’s run out compounded Northamptonshire’s woes and it was left to Hutton to take the last wicket, having Taylor caught behind off another loose shot.
(With Inputs from ESPN)
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