County Championship: Alex Hales scores ton in Notts win

LV= County Championship Division One, Wantage Road

Nottinghamshire 388 & 211-5 beat Northants 260 & 338 by five wickets

Notts 23pts, Northants 4pts

Match scorecard

Alex Hales scored his third Championship century of the season as title-chasing Nottinghamshire beat Northants by five wickets.

Hales, who was named in England's one-day squad on Monday for the series with India, hit a six and 16 fours in making 102 not out off 142 balls.

Their pursuit of 211 got off to a bad start as they lost Steven Mullaney for a duck in the first over of the day.

They then slipped to 28-3, but Hales' innings ensured a 23-point victory.

Notts stay second in the table and are now six points behind leaders Yorkshire, who completed a maximum-point victory over Sussex.

Hales was given a life when he was dropped on 89 by Andrew Hall in the slips off New Zealand's Neil Wagner, with Notts still needing another 38 to win.

And the England T20 opener went on to win the game with a four and a six off Hall and in the process scored his third century in 10 days.

His 101 for England Lions in a one-day match with Sri Lanka A  at Taunton on 6 August was followed by a stunning 141 off 96 balls, as Notts beat Middlesex on a One-Day Cup match at Lord's on 14 August.

Earlier, Mohammad Azharullah (2-38) quickly saw off Mullaney and nightwatchman Ajmal Shahzad, while David Willey accounted for Michael Lumb, before Hales and James Taylor (37) shared a fourth-wicket stand of 122.

Wagner (2-76), who was wicketless in the first innings on his Northants debut, had Taylor caught behind and also got rid of Samit Patel for 13.

Riki Wessels then joined Hales and hit a six and four fours in his unbeaten 29 off 25 balls to help secure a sixth Championship win of the season for his side.

Nottinghamshire opener Alex Hales:

"I'm absolutely delighted to get us over the line like that.

"That's such an important victory in our season but, even after losing those early wickets, we were still confident and I thought James Taylor played absolutely beautifully.

"Riki Wessels totally took the game away from them at the end."

Northants coach David Ripley:

"Over the four days it reminded me of the Somerset game where we were competitive over a number of those days, winning at least two, but on the one that we lost, Notts made significant strides in getting away from us.

"We've played against one of the best teams in the country over four days and we've got a lot to be positive about.

"In the Championship, our last two games have been good, competitive games of cricket, not getting hammered by an innings and we've had chances to win."

BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle:

"Alex Hales is in the form of his life with his centuries over the last few days for England Lions, for Notts at Lord's - and now a match-winning effort to get his side over the line in this one surely bears testament to that.

"The Championship run-in is going to be exciting. There's a belief in the Notts camp - and amongst those that watch them regularly - that this will once again be their year."