sport

Wessels steers Notts to victory

Riki Wessels' blistering century helped Nottinghamshire to victory over Northamptonshire in the Division One clash at Trent Bridge.

Wessels' sensational 158-run knock off 152 balls, coupled with four wickets apiece from Peter Siddle and Ajmal Shahzad on the final day, saw the visitors off by an innings and 10 runs.

After rain caused massive interruptions earlier in the week, Nottinghamshire began to take control on Tuesday, finishing 11 runs ahead at the close.

If the match looked destined to be a draw no one told Wessels and Chris Read, who returned to the crease in an aggressive mood.

They took their partnership to 50 by the third over as they looked to secure Nottinghamshire's second win of the season.

Andrew Hall broke up the duo four overs later as Read (31) was caught by Rob Newton on the square-leg boundary.

Australian Siddle (four) followed soon after to leave Nottinghamshire on 302 for seven, but Wessels then kicked into overdrive with three successive sixes, while Shahzad was also not shy of finding the boundaries.

Wessels' superb day was finally brought to a close when he was caught by Steven Crook off Azharullah. Nottinghamshire promptly declared on 409 for eight, leaving Shahzad on 36 not out, with Northamptonshire trailing by 161 runs.

Stephen Peters got the visitors' reply off to a strong start, finding a boundary with the first ball, but James Middlebrook made just four runs before he was out lbw off Shahzad, while Peters (24) himself was caught by Andre Adams off Siddle to leave Northants on 36 for two.

Their task got even harder when Siddle bowled David Sales (19) for the second time in the match and then claimed the wicket of Matthew Spriegel, lbw for 12, with the visitors struggling on 62 for four.

Newton (19) lobbed a simple return catch to Adams and Siddle dismissed England Under-19 international Ben Duckett (four) cheaply to send Northamptonshire for tea wobbling on 123 for six - 38 runs behind.

Shahzad came back out in ruthless mood and claimed two wickets off the next three balls, with Hall (27) caught by Read and David Murphy bowled for a duck, as Nottinghamshire led by 35 runs with just two wickets and 38 overs remaining.

Crook fell on 23 runs after being caught and bowled by Samit Patel to set up an exciting finish as Northamptonshire battled to secure a draw.

But Shahzad claimed his fourth wicket of the day, with Maurice Chambers (nine) out lbw, to secure victory for Nottinghamshire.