Jason Holder stars with bat and ball to set up Northants win

Northamptonshire 358 for 6 (Keogh 69, Rossington 68, Holder 60*, Wakely 50) beat Warwickshire 164 (Pollock 36, Thomson 36, Holder 3-26, Muzarabani 3-28) by 194 runs

Jason Holder galvanised an impressive Northamptonshire performance as they overwhelmed Warwickshire for their first win in this season’s Royal London Cup.

Holder hammered an unbeaten 60 from 31 balls as Northants made 358 for 6, having been sent in, and then took 3 for 26 as Warwickshire were bowled out for 164 – slumping to their heaviest List A defeat.

Holder strode out to bat at 252 for 5 in the 40th over. He helped add 106 in the final 10 overs as Northants made their third-highest List A total.

The West Indies captain then struck with his fifth ball before claiming the key wicket of Ed Pollock, caught at third man, as the target was defended with ease.

Moved down to No. 7 here, Northants set the innings up perfectly for their overseas star. Alex Wakely, Adam Rossington and Rob Keogh all passed fifty before Holder’s late blast capped an impressive batting display on a good wicket.

Holder lifted George Panayi over mid-off, pulled Craig Miles backward of square and drove Henry Brookes wide of deep cover before striking the final two balls of the innings bowled by Jeetan Patel for two sixes over long-on.

The scoring rate was healthy throughout the innings. Richard Levi set the tone by racing to 48 with three sixes – the biggest of them heaved over square leg in Panayi’s first over – before becoming Brookes’ third victim, edging a drive to Tim Ambrose.

Brookes, only 19 but leading the attack, had earlier bowled Josh Cobb first ball and got Ricardo Vasconcelos to chop into his stumps for 19.

At 76 for 3 in the 11th over, Northants were in familiar territory but Wakely and Keogh steered their side through 14 overs in a stand of 86 for the fourth wicket.

Wakely fell for a run-a-ball 50, missing Patel trying to flick to leg, and Keogh likewise for 69 from 87 balls – passing 1,000 List A runs along the way – but both efforts were key in facilitating more attractive progress at the other end.

For the first time in three matches, Northants had a platform for the end of the innings. Rossington reached fifty in 47 balls. He advanced at Panayi to pull him past midwicket but fell for 68 in 58 balls – caught at extra-cover trying to lift Alex Thomson’s off-spin.

Holder and Blessing Muzarabani then ruined the chase, sharing four wickets in quick opening spells. Dom Sibley, for 1, and Ambrose, for a 13-ball duck, edged Muzarabani behind the wicket and Holder pinned Sam Hain for 7 and ended Pollock’s 27-ball 36 when he sliced a cut to third man.

Nathan Buck took out Liam Banks’ middle stump before Ben Sanderson took three wickets – two in two balls as Will Rhodes was caught at deep square and Brookes taken at point via the shoulder of the bat, before Miles skied a catch to mid-on. Holder then had Thomson caught at midwicket, miscuing a pull for 36, before Muzarabani cleaned up Panayi.

Holder said the result was welcome following Northants’ 53-run defeat at the hands of Derbyshire last Friday.

“It was a very good team performance, everyone pulled their weight,” Holder said. “We had a disappointing performance in Derby so it’s great to see the guys bounce back. The platform was laid with the bat and it was a great effort to score 350.

“The pitch had good carry and bounce and we exploited that really well. Blessing was outstanding with the new ball, he set the tone and everyone followed on nicely.”

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