LV County Championship - Division Two
Northampton - Day Four
Northamptonshire 168 (D J G Sales 50, S J Magoffin 4-49) & 514-5 dec (N Boje 226 no, L Klusener 74, J Louw 67 no, D J G Sales 52) v Worcestershire 400-8 dec (S C Moore 109, V S Solanki 64, D S Lucas 4-68)
Northamptonshire (6pts) drew with Worcestershire (12pts)
Northamptonshire skipper Nicky Boje smashed a career-best 226 not out to see his side to saftey against Worcestershire.
The South African hit 33 fours and a six to make his highest ever first-class score that made sure the hosts batted out the final day to secure a draw.
Resuming in the morning on 55 not out, Boje stood firm against a Pears attack that had skittled the Steelbacks for just 168 on day two.
Although David Sales fell early in the first session, Steve Magoffin dismissing him for 52, Northants refused to buckle.
Lance Klusener spent over two hours at the crease to make 74 out of a fifth-wicket partnership of 181 with his captain.
By the time Worcestershire ended the stand their victory hopes had vanished. Johann Louw rubbed salt in their wounds by hitting five sixes in his 67 not out.
Magoffin ended with 3-93, giving him seven wickets in the contest, but not even he could find a way to remove Boje, who by the time play was called off had been batting for 10 minutes short of seven hours.
Nicky Boje led Northamptonshire's fightback on the third day against Worcestershire, but they still have work to do to avoid defeat.
After resuming on 216-3, the Pears declared their first innings at 400-8 for a lead of 232.
Steven Davies (31), Gareth Batty (37) and Kabir Ali (46) all made useful contributions for Worcestershire after Stephen Moore had built the perfect platform with a century on the second day.
Needing a marked improvement on their first effort to avoid an innings defeat, Northants lost openers Rob White (9) and Stephen Peters (33).
However, Boje (55no) and David Sales (48no) put together an unbroken stand of 92 to lead the home side to 161-2 at the close of play and give them hope of salvaging a draw.
Worcestershire opener Stephen Moore hit his second first-class century of the season to put the visitors on top at Northampton.
The 27-year-old smashed 109 off 153 balls as Worcestershire closed on 216-3.
Earlier, Australian pacemen Steve Magoffin ripped through the Northamptonshire middle-order, taking 4-49 as the hosts were skittled out for 168 in 48.4 overs.
Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell (36) and Moore then put the home attack to shame as they raced to 78 off the opening 18 overs.
Not even England spinner Monty Panesar could prevent Moore and skipper Vikram Solanki tightening Worcestershire's grip as they put on 130 to give Worcester a lead of 48.
Former England batsman Solanki brought up his half-century off 83 balls before David Lucas dismissed him for 64 in the 52nd over.
And Northamptonshire at least had the last word when Moore's innings was brought to a close by Lucas in the final over of the day, with Ben Smith not out on four.
Northamptonshire reached 33-1 during the 10.2 overs that were possible on the first day against Worcestershire at Wantage Road.
After home skipper Nicky Boje opted to bat first, Kabir Ali (1-17) made an early breakthrough for Worcestershire by having Alex Wakely caught behind for a four-ball duck.
But second-wicket pair Stephen Peters and Robert White repaired the innings to reach 28-1 before rain forced the players from the field after 9.1 overs.
They returned more than five hours later for seven more deliveries, during which time Peters (13no) and White (10no) advanced their side's total by a further five runs. Bad light then ended play for the day.