Vasconcelos leads Northants resistance against Glam

Ricardo Vasconcelos hits a shot
Ricardo Vasconcelos has a consistent record of success against Glamorgan [Getty Images]

Vitality County Championship D2, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff (day three)

Northants 279 & 236-4: Vasconcelos 99, Procter 55*; Crane 2-60

Glamorgan 490: Labuschagne 93, Carlson 71, Cooke 58, Crane 56*; Procter 3-51

Northants 3 pts, Glamorgan 7 pts

Match scorecard

Ricardo Vasconcelos led a strong Northants fightback with 99 as they reached 236-4 in their second innings to lead Glamorgan by 25 runs going into the final day.

The visitors were undaunted by a hefty deficit of 211 as captain Luke Procter made a solid unbeaten 55, adding 116 with Vasconcelos.

But two late wickets in two balls from Mason Crane revived Glamorgan victory hopes.

Earlier Glamorgan took their overnight 390-8 to 490 all out as Crane became their fourth half-century maker.

The home side easily secured their fourth batting point as James Harris (40) and Crane (56 not out) took their partnership to 63 against a toiling attack before Harris drove Rob Keogh to mid-wicket.

With the pitch appearing to flatten out on a hot afternoon, the series of useful stands continued with another 53 for the last wicket before Andy Gorvin (26) holed out on the boundary off Newport-born leg-spinner Alex Russell.

Despite the potential scoreboard pressure, Vasconcelos and Emilio Gay set off at a decent lick, putting together 59 before Gay (26) was caught behind down the leg-side off Gorvin.

India’s Prithvi Shaw, playing his first match of the season, fell for 23 as he edged Timm van der Gugten low to Chris Cooke, although Shaw appeared to hang around, believing it had not carried, before umpire Sue Redfern raised her finger for a second time after checking with fellow official Hassan Adnan.

Vasconcelos, whose two highest scores of 185 and 182 not out have come against Glamorgan, looked set for a fourth 100 against them as he struck 12 fours, with Procter a composed partner in reaching 50 off 104 balls.

But with the scores level and Vasconcelos on 99, Glamorgan brought in the field and piled on the pressure as leg-spinner Crane had two loud lbw shouts in quick succession before succeeding in his third.

Keogh then prodded his first ball to short-leg and Crane thought he had a hat-trick with the first ball of his next over, but umpire Adnan correctly judged the ball deflected off Lewis McManus’s arm to silly point.

McManus and Procter avoided any further alarms, but Glamorgan are still more strongly placed going into the final day, although they still have a negative over-rate to make up to avoid losing points.

Glamorgan’s Mason Crane told BBC Sport Wales:

“We’re in a strong position, I thought we deserved a few more wickets than we got, but we’ve got a really good chance to win the game and at the start we’d have taken this.

“For the lads to get nearly 500 was an amazing effort, and you’re always going to be in a strong position 200 ahead.

“It’s standard when someone gets near a milestone like that (Vasconcelos approaching a century) you make it as hard as you can, so that was a nice wicket to get.”

Northants batter Ricardo Vasconcelos told BBC Radio Northampton:

“We were on top, (if) we close the day two down, we’re in a position to dictate day four, but those two wickets pegged us back a bit and we’ve got to fight to get a partnership going again.

“Crane’s bowled nicely, but we back ourselves,. He got me out this time, but hopefully next time I’ll win that battle.

“For the most part it’s nice to bat on that pitch, but there’s the odd one jumping off a length or rolling and we’ve still got to get a few runs.