Northants resumed on the final day of their tour match against Sri Lanka, on 146/5 after rain caused the third day to be abandoned.
Fortunately for the hosts, the weather on the final day was beautiful, and perfect for batting. Rob Keogh and Matthew Spriegel resumed their innings on 26 and 11 respectively, and had a good start to the morning session as they added 53 to the overnight total. Spriegel was the first man of the day to fall, when he was caught by Nuwan Pradeep off Dilruwan Perera for 27.
Steven Crook quickly followed Spriegel, when he was caught behind off Dhhammika Prasad for 5. This wicket brought out David Willey, who showed off his power hitting. Willey hit 48 from 55, which included two big sixes, before being stumped off Perera with the score on 279/8.
When White fell two runs later with Keogh still on 80, many in the County Ground would have been thinking Keogh will miss out on a deserved century. However, Chad Barrett came in and really impressed with some great batting. With Barrett looking comfortable on the other end, Keogh was able to make a very composed century, as he really put his hand up to be a regular first XI player, in all formats this season. Keogh eventually fell when he was caught behind off Prasad for an excellent 120, and many of those who saw his innings, will be taking a note of the name, as one to watch in the future. The Keogh wicket ended the Northants innings, as the hosts finished 345 all out.
Sri Lanka decided to bat again, as they look to finish off their preparations for England on Thursday. However the Northants bowlers showed what they can do, as they looked impressive throughout the final two sessions. David Willey marked his return to bowling, with his first wicket for Northants this season, when Dinesh Chandimal was caught by Kyle Coetzer for 8.
Kumar Sangakkara then came to the crease for Sri Lanka, and looked in fine form, as he and Dimuth Karunaratne added 75 runs to the Sri Lanka total, before Karunaratne was bowled by Spriegel for 38. Mahela Jayawardene fell in the very next over, when he was stumped off Graeme White for a duck. White then also got the prize wicket of Sangakkara, who was caught on the long-on boundary by Chad Barrett for 45. A couple overs later, Sri Lanka decided to declare on 99/4 and call the match a draw.
This game was very useful for both sides, and Northants Head Coach David Ripley would have been delighted to see David Willey bowling in first class cricket again, as well as the batting performance by Rob Keogh. Next up for Northants will be a NatWest T20 Blast game against Yorkshire Vikings on Friday 13th June.