Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Emirates Old Trafford (day three)
Lancashire 415: Jennings 97, Vilas 97; Wood 5-72
Northamptonshire 230 & 200: Keogh 42; Gleeson 5-50
Northamptonshire (3 pts) lead Lancashire (5 pts) by 15 runs
Richard Gleeson claimed career-best match figures of 10 for 113 to move Lancashire close to victory in their Specsavers County Championship match against Northamptonshire at Emirates Old Trafford
He took five for 50 in Northamptonshire’s second innings and passed 10 wickets in a match for the first time – surpassing his previous best of nine for 95.
The milestones kept coming as the 31-year-old passed 100 wickets in first-class cricket.
Northamptonshire began their second innings shortly after lunch, 185 runs behind having bowled Lancashire out for 415.
The visitors’ response didn’t start particularly well as they lost the wickets of Ricardo Vasconcelos, Alex Wakely and Luke Proctor before the tea interval – with Tom Bailey, Graham Onions and Gleeson picking up one apiece.
Proceedings went from bad to worse for Northamptonshire as they lost South African international, Temba Bavuma with the first ball after the break.
However, a partnership of 53 between Rob Keogh and Josh Cobb steadied things, moving the score along to 140-2.
Gleeson then broke the partnership, picking up his second of the day – trapping Cobb lbw on 30.
This then put Gleeson on a roll as he took the next three Northamptonshire wickets inside 14 balls to reduce the visitors to 150-8.
Still 35 behind and with the possibility of Lancashire claiming an extra half hour to force a result, Nathan Buck and Luke Wood had to bat for their lives to make Lancashire bat again.
They didn’t and Northamptonshire were bowled out for 200 following the wicket of Ben Sanderson, meaning that the hosts require 16 runs for victory in the morning.
Earlier in the day, Dane Vilas hit 97 and was supported well by Bailey who hit a career-best 67.
WHAT THEY SAID
It goes without saying that Gleeson was delighted with his achievement. He said: “I’ve never had a 10-for before, so I’m hugely proud and pleased that I don’t have to do any bowling tomorrow.
“I didn’t bowl very well before tea so we had a little sit down and decided that I’d try some short stuff and I guess the ball came out nicely and the plan worked.”
Gleeson spoke about his former club and said that he owed a lot to them: ” They [Northamptonshire] found me and gave me the opportunity to play first-class cricket.
“I owe my career to them really because I could still be working for the Lancashire Cricket Board coaching in schools if it wasn’t for them.”
Photo credit: Lancashire Cricket