Northamptonshire 142 (Stone 4-39) and 507 for 6 declared (Rossington 135*, Proctor 112* Thurston 96, Curran 58) drew with Warwickshire 369 for 8 (Bresnan 105, Yates 88)
Northamptonshire secured a Bob Willis Trophy draw that felt like a win after seventh-wicket twosome Adam Rossington and Luke Procter batted through the last day to crush the life out of Warwickshire’s victory tender at Edgbaston.
Northamptonshire looked to be hurling to beat when, just after lunch on the third day, trailing by 227 on first innings, they hit 148 for 5 in their second. But from that point onwards they showed immense resilience and get to the bottom of to bat their way to safety on a flattening pitch.
The great escape used to be led by Rossington who dug in to deliver the archetypal captain’s innings – 135 from 399 balls with 17 fours. After adding 159 with Charlie Thurston on the third day, on the fourth, the skipper added an unbroken 200 in 83 overs with Procter, who reached 112 not out, to steer his side to 507 for 6, their record complete against Warwickshire.
The superb rearguard action left a young Northamptonshire side proud and delighted, but there were the contrary feelings in the home dressing-room. After totally dominating the first two days, Warwickshire let victory slip through their fingers, literally with several dropped catches, while the bowling attack failed to maintain the loss of spearhead Olly Stone.
The absence of Stone, who used to be off the field having a side injury assessed, used to be a big blow but did not excuse the lack of potency and keep an eye on from too many other members of the attack.
Northamptonshire still had plenty to do to succeed in safety in the match when they resumed on the last morning on 317 for 6, but Procter set down a right away marker for the day with successive fours off Tim Bresnan.
On a pitch which offered the seamers less and not more assistance as the match lengthened, very few balls did not locate the middle of the bat. Rossington reached his seventh first-class century from 227 balls with his 14th four, punched straight off Ryan Sidebottom before, in the next over, Procter posted his 50 from 91 balls with eight fours.
The twosome added 98 in the morning, then in the afternoon Rossington dropped anchor deeper than ever. The captain scored just 15 runs in the session, settling for in large part strokeless resistance and challenging the home side to find the potency to dislodge him, which they failed to do.
Procter completed his fourth first-class century with his 17th boundary, bring to an end Rob Yates, in the first over after tea. That Yates, having never before purveyed his off-spin in first-class cricket, used to be into his 14th over said everything approximately Warwickshire’s bowling performance. They’re going to hope to welcome Liam Norwell and Henry Brookes back into the attack for the match absent to Gloucestershire starting next Saturday.