Development XI beat Northants
A young Scotland Development XI, featuring seven U19's, secured a fine six wicket win over Northants Second XI at the County Ground as they chased down 310 for the loss of only four wickets in the final innings.
On Day 1 Scotland won the toss and elected to bowl in humid conditions after a delayed start due to some heavy downpours. The experienced Stephen Peters (92) and captain Rob Keogh (83) were the star batsmen of the Northants first innings, while seam bowlers Gavin Main (3/56), Paddy Sadler (3/60) and Safyaan Sharif (2/63) ensured the home side were kept in check as Northants were dismissed for 289.
Scotland found themselves forced to face a tricky session before the end of play, losing Hamish Gardiner and Ross McLean to the impressive Northants opening bowlers Oli Stone and Luke Evans to finish day 1 on 13/2.
Day 2 didn't start much better for the Dev XI who were reduced to 41 for 4, until George Munsey and Nick Farrar put on 71 for the 5th wicket. The partnership was broken by Evans, bowling Farrar for 26 and then dismissing Munsey, in the same fashion for 39, with Scotland were struggling on 113 for 6.
However, stubborn resistance from the lower order batsmen Safyaan Sharif contributing 21, followed by a 50 run 9th wicket between youngsters Alex Baum (38no) and Gavin Main (15) pushed the Development score to 206 for 8.
Main was eventually caught behind before Sadler was dismissed first ball, to see the Scotland innings finish on 216 - giving Northants a lead by 83 on the first innings. Opening bowlers Stone and Evans did the majority of the work for Northants 2's finishing with figures of 4 for 33 and 4 for 66 respectively.
The second half of the game was in marked contrast to the first with bat dominating ball. Northants captain Rob Keogh continued his fine form from the first innings, and in partnership with James Kettleborough they compiled a mammoth 202 runs for the first wicket.
Keogh chipped Paddy Sadler to mid-wicket early on Day 3 to depart for a fine 114. Despite failing to take more wickets the Scotland bowlers managed to restrict the run rate with Northants declaring on 236 for 1 from 67 overs, to set the Development XI a chase of 310 from 79 overs.
A rain shower early in the Scotland second innings reduced the overs remaining in the day to 72.
Development XI openers Gardiner and McLean had started confidently and brought up the 100 partnership in the 26th over and moved the score on to 167 without loss, when tea was taken with the Scotland team in a dominant position.
Northants rotated their bowlers in an attempt to find a breakthrough, but the 200 partnership was reached in the 49th over. At this stage over 450 runs had been scored across both 2nd innings for the loss of only one wicket!
Although there was still time for excitement to come for the home side when Gardiner was dismissed, edging Usman Arif to the wicket keeper.
McLean reached his first senior representative hundred before departing, caught behind to the tireless Evans. Michael English (15) and George Munsey (6) were also dismissed as the Development XI closed in on victory, but Josh Edwards (51no) and Nick Farrar (15no) saw the team home to win by 6 wickets with almost 5 overs remaining.
A tremendous victory for the young Scottish team against a strong Northants 2nd XI and some further valuable experience of 3 day cricket.