LV County Championship Division Two, Northampton
Close, day three: Gloucestershire 358 & 31-0 v Northants 567-4d
Gloucestershire 5pts, Northants 8pts
David Sales's magnificent 255 not out helped give Northants the initiative going into the final day at Northampton against Gloucestershire.
Resuming on 369-3 after a rain delay, Sales picked up from where he left off, finding the boundary with regularity and reaching 200 from just 232 balls.
As such, he dominated a 170-run partnership with Andrew Hall (55) before the hosts declared on 567-4.
And Gloucestershire closed on 31-0, still 178 behind.
Sales's incredible innings included 36 fours and three sixes and gave promotion-chasers Northants hope of victory in their Division Two tie.
VIEW FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC Radio Northampton's Chris Egerton:
"A truncated day which only began at 14:15 BST saw Northamptonshire dominate with the bat and in particular David Sales.
"His 255 not out is his eighth score above 200 in his long career and comes in a season in which his previous highest score was 40.
"But with the chasing pack closer than they were, did Northants leave the declaration too late until 17.30?"
BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Bob Hunt:
"All the Gloucestershire team could do was watch a batting master class from David Sales as their bowlers toiled forlornly with only one wicket to show for their efforts.
"Bowlers like Craig Miles, so successful early in the season, will have to learn their trade on flat tracks and bowl a decent length.
"Northants surprised many by the lateness of their declaration and with poor weather forecast, Gloucestershire would be happy to come away with eight points for the draw and their promotion hopes still faintly intact."