DURHAM would probably have settled for taking four wickets this morning after coming under fire in the first half hour.
But with former Surrey left-hander Matthew Spriegel standing firm to remain unbeaten on 72 Northamptonshire comfortably avoided the follow-on and were 319 for seven at lunch, 135 behind.
Paul Collingwood’s bowling changes paid dividends as Scott Borthwick struck with his third ball and Keaton Jennings with his second.
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The other two wickets fell in successive Usman Arshad overs after he had erred in length in his previous few overs and taken some stick from Spriegel.
Northants added 30 runs in the first half hour before Borthwick had the dangerous Rob Newton caught at slip by Collingwood. Newton’s 43 came off 58 balls with six fours.
Borthwick bowled tidily until he conceded 15 in his eighth over, when Steven Crook cut successive balls for four and Spriegel swept a boundary behind square.
Andrew Hall was looking to turn a full-length ball from Arshad behind square leg when he was given out lbw by Tim Robinson, who had previously been reluctant to give anything.
David Willey opened up by driving Borthwick to long-on for four but then hit a back-foot shot off Arshad straight into the hands of Gareth Breese at cover.
Jennings came on five balls before the new ball was due and struck Crook on the pads with his first two balls. The stifled appeal off the first probably meant the batsman had nicked it, but the second brought another raised finger from umpire Robinson. The new ball was taken with Northants on 311 for seven and Chris Rushworth, having his first bowl of the morning, troubled Spriegel in his two overs before the break.