Rob Keogh hit 134, his maiden One-Day century, as Northamptonshire thrashed Durham by 170 runs as the Royal London One-Day Cup resumed at Wantage Road, the hosts wracking up the sizeable total of 355-6, a target Durham never looked like reaching.
Keogh, whose century came off 88 balls, shared a fourth wicket stand of 149 with Rob Newton, who made 66. The pair took Northants from a steady start, to go on and score 202 from the final 20 overs to reach what was the counties third highest total in one-day history.
With Durham needing what would have been their highest total for victory, they slipped to 44-3 inside the first powerplay, and Muhammed Azharullah’s 5-43 saw the visitors bowled out for 185, Northants moving above Durham into fourth place in the North group.
Keogh had only scored two half centuries in all first team cricket this season after an injury disrupted start to the summer, and has had to settle for lesser roles in the white ball side, but grabbed his chance at number three with Ben Duckett away on England Lions duty.
“Very delighted, always nice to get a hundred. A first for me in one day cricket and hopefully more to come,” Keogh said. “It’s hard when you miss those key players. Ben’s obviously been key for us in this competition and we knew missing him would be tough, but it’s nice to step up when those guys go away.
“It was a tough pitch, 350 doesn’t do it justice. I don’t think they bowled as well as they’d have liked and that’s mainly due to our batting. Cobby and Rosso got us off to a fantastic start and then Rob’s innings to get 60 in no time was crucial and really helped me.
“We look to take this win into next couple of days; big game at Birmingham on Tuesday. I think if we get a win we’re close to qualifying for the quarter final, nice to take momentum from a good win here up to Edgbaston.”
Whilst Northants had only won one of their opening four matches, with two defeats and a washout against Leicestershire, the batting has fired in every match. 287-8 against Lancashire was their lowest effort, while scores of 425 and 310-7 were both in losing causes against Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.
Ben Duckett has played a big part, with 98 and 121 in his last two innings, but in his absence and with Richard Levi also out injured, Keogh stepped up to the plate after what has been a disappointing season for the 24-year-old.
Openers Adam Rossington and Josh Cobb had given Northants a perfect start, with an opening stand of 56 inside ten overs, Rossington the first to go for 22, whilst Cobb took his fine t20 form into the longer format with a 56 that included two sixes before drilling a return catch to Scott Borthwick.
However, when captain Alex Wakely chipped Ryan Pringle straight to midwicket with the score 131-1 just past the midway point, there was still plenty of work to be done to reach 300, let alone 350.
But Keogh and Newton, who have both played only a bit part role in limited overs cricket this season, neither having played in the t20 defeat at Yorkshire on Friday, took advantage of their opportunity with a thrilling partnership.
A Newton straight six off Pringle signalled their intent, and when 21 and 18 came off overs 34 and 35, the pair were in full flow, Newton launching two more maximums over the leg side whilst Keogh pulled Borthwick over the rope.
Keogh’s previous highest List A score had been 66, against Lancashire earlier this season, but he raced to three figures, the second 50 coming in only 21 balls, before going on to more than double that career best.
Newton’s half century was his first since 2013, after a couple of injury hit years, and came up in 36 balls but the stand was broken when he swept Pringle to the midwicket boundary, Keogh following three overs later, hitting Harrison to long-on.
That only allowed Rory Kleveinveldt a late cameo, and following 128 from 63 balls in his only previous 50 over innings this season, smacked six fours in 13 balls as he finished 32 not out, adding 50 with Steven Crook from the final 25 deliveries, Crook run out for 29 from the final ball.
Chasing over seven an over from the outset, Durham were always up against it and three wickets inside the opening powerplay almost ended their hopes before they begun, Mark Stoneman pulling Richard Gleeson’s fourth delivery high to mid-on.
Gleeson claimed a second wicket when beating Borthwick for pace, to have him caught behind attempting a leave. Two balls later Mustard pulled Kleinveldt to mid-on, Wakely with his second catch.
Azharullah then took control of proceedings, having both Keaton Jennings and Michael Richardson caught behind by David Murphy, who was playing his first white ball match for Northants since August 2013, to leave the visitors in tatters at 80-5.
Gordan Muchall led a fightback that at least meant they avoided recording their heaviest one-day defeat, but the wickets kept falling as Jack Burnham was bowled by Azharullah for 26.
Pringle survived a drop on naught to club a six and four fours, as he added 56 in less than seven overs, but with the required rate over ten an over it couldn’t last and Pringle picked out Keogh at long-on off Graeme White.
Muchall followed, stumped in White’s following over, and Azharullah returned to wrap up the match, and claim his second Northants one-day five wicket haul, Rushworth caught at mid-on before Paul Coughlin was bowled next ball.