Northants edge ahead on back of Rob Keogh hundred
Northamptonshire 325 for 7 (Keogh 132, Rossington 63) lead Leicestershire 308 (Rhodes 61*) by 17 runs
Three late wickets ensured Leicestershire remained in the game after a century from Rob Keogh had threatened to leave Northamptonshire firmly in control of the Specsavers Division Two Championship match at the Fischer County Ground.
Adam Rossington, Luke Procter and then Keogh all fell in the final hour as Northants, having been 304 for 4, closed on 325 for 7, a lead of just 17 with three wickets in hand.
Resuming on 276 for 8, the Foxes had George Rhodes and Will Davis to thank for picking up a third batting bonus point, Davis driving three boundaries through the off side before a misunderstanding with Rhodes saw him unable to regain his ground at the non-striker's end in time to beat Keogh's throw from midwicket.
Alex Evans, making his Leicestershire debut, lasted only three balls before going leg before to an in-swinger from Brett Hutton, leaving Rhodes, also making his debut after moving from Worcestershire, unbeaten on a first-class career-best 61.
After an expensive first over, Evans, a 19-year-old seam bowler at Loughborough University, bowled impressively, and was rewarded when Northants opener Rob Newton left a delivery which seamed back in and hit the top of off stump. Davis then struck in the first over after lunch, Ben Curran edging a flat-footed drive to wicketkeeper Harry Swindells.
Keogh and Alex Wakely added 55 for the third wicket before Wakely was unfortunate to be caught behind the wicket down the leg side, flicking at a wide delivery from Evans.
Richard Levi was bowled by a Chris Wright delivery that came back sharply, but Keogh continued to bat with impressive assurance and positivity, hitting ten boundaries in reaching his half-century off just 69 balls. He received solid support from Northants skipper Rossington in adding 148 for the fifth wicket, with Keogh hitting a further seven boundaries in going to his century off 134 deliveries.
Rossington also passed 50, and the pair appeared in total control until Rossington walked down the wicket to Evans and lifted a full delivery high to deep backward square, giving Wright a simple catch. Offspinner Colin Ackermann then turned one out of the footholds to bowl Procter before Keogh played a weary shot at a wide delivery from Davis to give Rhodes a catch at point.