Saltires let Northants off the hook after Davey blunder

SCOTLAND pushed unbeaten Northants all the way at the County Ground yesterday before falling to their seventh straight CB40 defeat.

In the end, the Scots were again left to reflect on what might have been on a day when Preston Mommsen's highest score for the side proved in vain.

Instead, former Sri Lanka test star Chaminda Vaas claimed three crucial wickets and was then dropped on 1 before going on to punish the error with his side's top score of 68 as the county claimed a four-wicket victory.

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Despite Mommsen's heroics, the Saltires needed early wickets to give themselves a fighting chance and the opportunity came in the second over when Vaas clipped a Luke Butterworth delivery straight to Josh Davey at fine leg.

It was a regulation catch at any level but - inexplicably - the Middlesex player spilled the ball having started to celebrate.

Davey's blunder proved costly for the Scots, whose temporary loss of composure was manifest in a series of basic fielding errors while Vaas cashed-in.

The Sri Lankan hit a punishing half-century though Scotland did fight back to claim three quick wickets and briefly raise hopes of victory.

Matty Parker made the breakthrough when he trapped Stephen Peters in front and followed up by inducing a false shot from David Willey, who was caught by Gordon Goudie at deep mid-wicket.

When Butterworth belatedly claimed his first competitive wicket, Alex Wakely lbw, Northants were wobbling on 64-3.

However, Vaas, joined by David Sales, refused to panic and continued to make the most of his earlier life.

Happy to hit over the in-field, the left-hander rubbed salt in Butterworth's wounds by straight driving the Australian for four and hoisting his next delivery over the rope at wide long-on.

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Vaas' luck finally ran out, though, when he was well held by Mommsen off Drummond, and Saltires tails were up again when Parker produced a superb delivery to bowl Sales.

Rob White was run out to leave the county on 154-6 with the required rate rising.

However, James Middlebrook lifted a six over cow corner off Butterworth to relieve the pressure, while former South African all-rounder Andrew Hall showed his experience to guide his team over the line with five balls to spare.

Earlier, Mommsen produced an innings of character and skill to help the Saltires wrest back the initiative after Vaas had put them firmly on the back foot.

Having won the toss and confidently elected to bat, Scotland lost opener Calum MacLeod in the first over as he drove the Sri Lankan pace bowler straight to David Willey at point.

Vaas, the veteran of 111 test matches, proceeded to deliver a master-class in the art of seam and swing bowling.

Davey was next to be undone by a delivery which Vaas managed to angle away from the batsman, taking the outside edge on the way to the keeper.

Fraser Watts and Richie Berrington effected partial repairs, with the latter hinting at the form which saw him score three consecutive half-centuries last season especially when he drove Andrew Hall firmly through extra cover for one of his two boundaries.

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Watts also stroked a couple of boundaries while never looking as fluent as the player who scored a half-century against Durham six days earlier, the Carlton man eventually yorked for 29 by David Lucas.

Berrington followed, adjudged lbw attempting to reverse sweep Middlebrook as the Scots again contrived to lose wickets in pairs. Butterworth, never at ease, helped Mommsen add 57 for the fifth wicket before the return of Vaas saw the Australian comprehensively bowled.

However, Mommsen, joined by the busy Gregor Maiden, merely stepped-up the pace as the Saltires added 43 in the final four power-play overs of their innings.

While Maiden scampered between the wickets, his partner opened his shoulders with a series of big shots, the best of them an enormous six out of the ground as Vaas finally met his match.

Mommsen's unbeaten 81 came from just 72 balls and included six boundaries and two clearances.


D F Watts b Lucas29

C S MacLeod c Willey b Vaas0

J H Davey c Sales b Vaas0

R D Berrington lbw b Middlebrook28

P L Mommsen not out81

L R Butterworth b Vaas20

G I Maiden not out32

Extras (b1 lb6 w3)10

Total (for five, 40 overs)200

Fall: 1-1 2-3 3-50 4-68 5-125.

Bowling: Vaas 8-1-37-3 Hall 7-0-38-0 Lucas 7-0-31-1 Daggett 6-0-26-0 Middlebrook 8-0-39-1 Willey 4-0-22-0.


S D Peters lbw b Parker7

W P U Vaas c Mommsen b Drummond68

D J Willey c Goudie b Parker11

A G Wakely lbw b Butterworth2

D J G Sales b Parker40

R A White run out6

A J Hall not out21

J D Middlebrook not out31

Extras (b5 lb1 w9)15

Total (for six, 39.1 overs)201

Fall: 1-40 2-60 3-64 4-138 5-142 6-154.

Bowling: Drummond 8-0-33-1 Butterworth 7.1-0-44-1 Parker 8-0-41-3 Goudie 4-0-26-0 Haq 8-0-30-0 Davey 4-0-21-0.

Northamptonshire beat Scotland by four wkts