Northants v Worcestershire: Richardson responds to Hall's haul
County Championship Division Two, Northampton
Close, day one: Worcestershire 196, Northants 100-4
Northants 3pts, Worcestershire 1pt
Former Worcestershire paceman Andrew Hall led the way with a three-wicket haul as Northants bowled out the visitors before tea on the first day.
But Worcestershire's current star turn Alan Richardson then hit back with three scalps of his own by the close.
Trent Copeland also took three wickets, Moeen Ali top scoring with 79, as Worcestershire were bowled out for 196.
- After claiming only six scalps in the first four matches of the season, Alan Richardson has since taken 29 wickets in just six innings - and there may be more to come.
- Northants paceman Trent Copeland's three wickets took his haul of Championship victims for the season to 30.
But the loss of David Sales for 40 in the last over of the day left the game poised, with Northants on 100-4.
Richardson snared Sales leg before to follow up his stunning start to the Northants reply when he found the edge of the bat of both openers, Matt Spriegel, then Kyle Coetzer.
Australian Copeland's 3-51, in this his final game in his initial stint with the county, was well backed by Hall's 3-45 (all the South African's wickets were clean bowled).
It was very much Northants' afternoon as they took seven wickets for 89 to leave Worcestershire just four runs short of a first batting bonus point.
But it was Richardson (3-43) who once again had the day's final word in Division Two's battle of first v third.
VIEWS FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC Northampton's Chris Egerton:
"A fascinating, evenly poised day of Championship cricket.
"And the tension turned another notch when David Sales fell to the final ball of the day from Alan Richardson.
"Worcestershire's 196 looked under par but with Richardson - the leading wicket taker in Division Two in their attack - any total can be defended."
BBC Hereford & Worcester's Dave Bradley:
"Andrew Hall showed the value of bowling straight with the ball swinging late, and a word too for wicket-keeper David Murphy, who did well to get behind some of the wider deliveries.
"Moeen Ali was again the pick of the Worcestershire batsman, as he now looks like the senior player he has threatened to be for some years.
"Alan Richardson was again the predator with two wickets in the first over and the late dismissal of David Sales, but Northants, batting in the best conditions of the day, would say it was their day."