Plunkett plunders as Yorkshire ease to victory

Liam Plunkett claimed four wickets for Yorkshire on the final day against Northampton
Liam Plunkett claimed four wickets for Yorkshire on the final day against Northampton
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Liam Plunkett picked up four wickets as Yorkshire made short work of Northamptonshire on the final day to record their third LV= County Championship win of the season.

Hosts Northamptonshire began on 66 for three in pursuit of an improbable 432 for victory but, even with a delayed start to proceedings, they only lasted until mid-afternoon before being bowled out for 160.

Plunkett led the way as he claimed four of the final five wickets to fall as Yorkshire sealed victory by 271 runs, and in the process inflict a fifth defeat in six matches on Division One strugglers Northamptonshire.

The victory is no more than Yorkshire deserved, but one that looked some way off after the first day when they were dismissed for just 136 and saw Northamptonshire close on 191 for seven.

However, stunning second-innings performances from Yorkshire openers Adam Lyth and Alex Lees turned the match on its head, and the White Rose bowlers finished the job on Tuesday.

Rain meant there was a slightly delayed start at Wantage Road, with play not getting under way until 11.35 and nine overs being lost from the allotted 96.

Yorkshire immediately made up for that lost time, though, as Tim Bresnan (three for 46) trapped Matt Spriegel lbw with the first ball of the day, the batsman departing for 14 after not offering a shot.

That left Northamptonshire on 66 for four and was the start of a fine morning session for Yorkshire, who made two more breakthroughs before lunch.

Jack Brooks, against his former county, snared the other overnight batman as Rob Keogh nicked behind to Jonny Bairstow for 25 before Plunkett ended Andrew Hall’s aggressive counter-attack.

Hall had struck four boundaries in his rapid 24 but he was undone by a Plunkett short ball, which the South African could only loop to Lees at cover as he attempted to check a pull shot.

Northamptonshire ended the session on 119 for six, still needing 313 more for the win, and they could only add another 16 runs before they lost their seventh wicket.

Former England all-rounder Plunkett was again the successful bowler, inducing an edge off Ben Duckett that saw the teenage wicketkeeper - who made a half-century in the first innings - depart for 10.

Plunkett added his third scalp of the day soon after by having Rob Newton (33) caught by Aaron Finch and it was fitting that the 29-year-old should wrap things up as well after Adil Rashid had left the home side nine down by snaring Ian Butler lbw.

Maurice Chambers had taken Plunkett for 10 off his previous over, including two fours, but the bowler got his revenge with the first delivery of his next set as he shattered the stumps to secure Yorkshire’s win and a 19-point haul.