Copeland signs off in Style

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Australian seamer Trent Copeland signed off in style as Northamptonshire enhanced their position at the top of the LV= County Championship Division Two standings with a 10-wicket defeat of Worcestershire at the County Ground.

Copeland claimed a further three wicket as the home side took 45 minutes to wrap up their visitors’ second innings after they resumed the third day on 97 for six, 21 runs from making Northants bat again.

The 22 point-haul was the result of another outstanding performance from the four-strong seam attack who have been in excellent form all season with Copeland, playing his final game before returning to Sydney, the pick.

The New South Welshman finished with the figures of 6-41, passing 50 competitive wickets for the club in the process, as Worcestershire were bowled out for 125.

After 10 relatively uneventful minutes, Copeland made the morning breakthrough as he had Gareth Andrew caught behind when attempting to shoulder arms.

That broke a partnership of 36, something of a triumph after the wreckage of the previous evening, and it opened up the Worcestershire tail.

The first of those, Jack Shantry, lasted just two deliveries before Copeland trapped him in front to pick up his fifth wicket of the innings and fourth lbw.

Chris Russell, who dismissed Copeland on the second day one ball after hitting him on the helmet, was unsurprisingly greeted by a bouncer – merely delaying the inevitable that came five minutes later as he edged behind to David Murphy.

Throughout the carnage, Moeen Ali stood firm and looked to emulate his first-innings efforts, when he top-scored with 79.

Moeen was the only Worcestershire player to get more than 25 runs in the contest and showed what was achievable via good judgement and application, which he displayed in abundance.

Alan Richardson came in with 10 runs still needed to make the hosts bat again and this target was reached as a David Willey no-ball ensured parity.

The number 11 became the last man to depart as he fended Willey to James Middlebrook in the gully leaving Moeen, who finished with 44 from 122 deliveries, stranded at the other end.

That left a meagre eight runs to win and, after a Shantry maiden and a couple of runs off Russell, victory was accomplished in the third over as Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer lofted the former over extra cover for six.

Copeland signs off in Style www.northantscricket.com