Northants v Leicestershire: Niall O'Brien steers Foxes to draw

Cricket
County Championship Division Two, Northampton
Day four: Northants 355 & 215-8 dec drew with Leicestershire 234 & 168-3
Northants 10pts, Leicestershire 7pts
Match scorecard

Opener Niall O'Brien hit a half century against his old club as Leicestershire played out a draw on the final day against leaders Northants.

The home side delayed their declaration until they reached 215-8, with debutant Ben Duckett (53) sharing an unbroken stand of 82 with Steven Crook (33)

A target of 337 was well out of reach for the visitors in the time left.

But O'Brien made 59 before falling to Trent Copeland and a halt was called with Leicestershire on 168-3.

Northants appeared to have a fourth victory of the summer in mind when Copeland's 7-63 earned them a 121-run first-innings lead, but they were caught between two stools after losing wickets themselves.

They began the final day on 94-5 and had to avoid being bowled out cheaply and leaving the door open for a Leicestershire run-chase.

Ramnaresh Sarwan took a brilliant catch to dismiss Rob Keogh off the bowling of Robbie Williams, but 18-year-old Duckett struck seven fours in a highly promising knock before skipper Alex Wakely called his ninth-wicket pair in.

Greg Smith (49) and O'Brien calmed any Leicestershire fears of possible defeat as they opened up with a stand of 80 and Ned Eckersley chipped in with 42 before the two teams shook hands.

Match scorecard

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