County Championship: David Willey dents Leicestershire hopes

David Willey
Willey's father Peter played for both Northants and Leicestershire during his career, as well winning 26 Test caps
LV= County Championship Division Two, Grace Road (day three)
Northants 251 & 429: Willey 88, Newton 58, Kleinveldt 56
Leicestershire 305 & 44-1
Leicestershire need another 332 runs to win
Leicestershire 6 pts, Northants 5 pts
Match scorecard

David Willey celebrated his inclusion in England's one-day squad to play Ireland with 88 on day three against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

The home side were scenting a first Championship victory since 2012 when Northants were 142-5, just 88 ahead.

But Josh Cobb made 54 before Willey and Rory Kleinveldt (58) added 97 for the eighth wicket in just 11 overs.

Willey finally holed out as Northants were dismissed for 429, a target of 376 for Leicestershire, who closed on 44-1.

Willey on song
David Willey's Championship scores so far this summer are 62, 104 not out, 36 and 88, giving him an average of 96.66 - his career average is 28.88

The left-hander hit a six and 11 fours in his 79-ball innings but was starved of the strike for several overs following Kleinveldt's departure and was caught at third man off Charlie Shreck (4-91) as he tried to press on to a century with only last man Azharullah for company.

Having allowed a good position to slip away earlier in the day, Leicestershire's first task was to try and reach stumps unscathed, but Willey had other ideas and picked up the wicket of Dan Redfern, whose attempted square cut was taken by Cobb.

Northants are also eager to return to winning ways, having failed to register a single victory as they were relegated from Division One last summer.

Leicestershire head coach Andrew McDonald:

"If we'd taken a couple of opportunities the game may have been slightly different, but I still think it is in the balance at 332 off 96 overs.

"If it's a full day's play we're right in this. If you look at the trend of the game the scores have risen with each innings, and I think what you'll find is the surface is becoming better and better, so day four shouldn't hold too many demons.

"If we bat deep we'll probably be on the right side of the ledger. If we bat the day, we win. It's a matter of applying ourselves."