Both Northants and Yorkshire have had to quickly change their mindset after being involved in T20 Blast games on Friday as they began their four day County Championship division one encounter at Wantage Road.
Yorkshire, full of confidence, entered the game without England players Joe Root and Gary Ballance and were also without former England bowler Ryan Sidebottom but, with a strong squad, were still firm favourites to beat winless Northants in their own back yard.
However, Northants won the toss on day one and immediately made inroads into the Yorkshire batting line-up. Once the impressive opener Adam Lyth was dismissed for a duck wickets continued to fall at regular intervals thereafter as Yorkshire struggled in seamer-friendly conditions. This season Yorkshire have prided themselves on their excellent batting displays but once England hopeful Jonny Bairstow was also dismissed for a duck they found themselves teetering on 45-5.
Australian Aaron Finch, making his County Championship debut, did help to repair some of the damage with a top score of 34 but a first innings total of just 136 was simply not good enough for the White Rose county if they are to have serious aspirations of winning the County Championship this season. The pick of the Northants bowling attack was seamer Ian Butler (4-41) who was ably supported by Muhammad Azharullah (3-14) and Maurice Chambers (2-23).
In reply Northants built a solid foundation with openers Stephen Peters (27) and former Yorkshire player James Middlebrook (70) adding 44 for the first wicket. Middlebrook's innings could well prove vital in the match as no other Northants batsmen could muster a sizeable score as they too lost regular wickets.
It was ex-Northants bowler Jack Brooks (4-58) who did most of the damage for Yorkshire but Northants managed to battle their way to 191-7 by the close, with a useful lead of 55 runs.
Day two will see Northants hopeful of adding to their lead and then trying to drive home the advantage when they bowl again. If we continue to see a flurry of wickets like on day one we could be very close to a result by the close on day two.
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