by Dave Bracegirdle
Matthew Spriegel’s 66 was the stand-out performance on the second and final day of the county friendly against Derbyshire at North Star CC.
Responding to a total of 313-9, the Steelbacks were indebted to an opening stand of 55 between Stephen Peters and Spriegel, which ended when the Northants skipper was trapped lbw by Mark Turner for 31.
Alex Wakely made 17, David Sales just 7 and James Middlebrook only 12 as the middle order capitulated but Rob Keogh offered support to Spriegel and then guided the tail to a morale-boosting first innings advantage.
Spriegel batted for 198 minutes, faced 129 deliveries and stroked 9 boundaries before becoming one of Jonathan Clare’s three victims.
Keogh ended on an unbeaten 55, sharing in a last wicket stand of 61 with Luke Evans, who made 42.
Elsewhere, Andrew Hall skippered a combined Northants / Hampshire side to a 60-run victory over a combined Warwickshire / Derbyshire XI at Dayrell’s Road.
Michael Carberry’s undefeated 105 was the catalyst for the win, although Derbyshire’s Mark Footitt impressed with the ball, taking 6-50.
In the evening the entire squad attended a function at Herbert House in Bridgetown, to honour the achievements of West Indian fast-bowling legends Sir Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith.