Mark Footitt took three wickets on his return from a loan spell at Lancashire as Northamptonshire 2nds posted a competitive total on the first day of the Nottinghamshire 2nd XI’s Championship season.

The 33-year-old, who made one appearance for the Old Trafford side in his early-season spell away from Trent Bridge, took the first three wickets to fall after Northants won the toss and chose to bat.

Opener Saif Zaib was first to go, edging behind to Sam Hall for 17, but it was the left-arm quick’s next wicket which might well have been the ball of the innings, as Matt Lezar shouldered arms only to see his off-stump uprooted for 6.

Northants opener Emilio Gay and Charles Thurston then set about compiling a hefty partnership, scoring briskly at first to bring up a 50-run stand off just 42 balls before playing more conservatively up to the lunch break.

The hundred partnership was reached from 111 balls just before lunch, and it took until the ninth over after the interval for the next breakthrough to be made, Footitt trapping Gay lbw for 80.

Thurston continued to accumulate in the company of Safwaan Imtiaz, before Liam Patterson-White’s left-arm spin breached his defences, meaning he had to depart for 65.

Lyndon James got in on the act shortly after, having both Imtiaz (33) and Andrew Bramley (11) caught behind.

Jack Blatherwick and Jordan Cook accounted for the final four Northants wickets, Blatherwick dismissing Ben Claydon and Jack Twigger either side of Cook’s dismissals of James Cronie and Ben Kitt.

This left Nottinghamshire with a 17-over period to begin their reply to Northants’ 315, with James and Patterson-White falling inside the opening 11 overs to Cameron Parsons.

Sol Budinger began his knock positively before being pinned lbw by Saif Zaid for 13, leaving opener Chris Gibson to see out the final few overs of the day in the company of Blatherwick as Notts closed 264 behind on 51-3.


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