WORCESTERSHIRE'S admirable never-say-die attitude reaped its reward at Wantage Road in the shape of an excellent 112-run victory over sorry Northamptonshire.

As fightbacks go, this must figure as one of the best. Even the most adventurous punter would have needed some convincing to invest in the County as they stood at 2-4 in their first knock, or at 47-4 in their second.

But in the end they swept to a third Championship win in four matches with some ease as the home side, left to score 290 with the best part of two days available, crumbled to 177 all out.

It was also a memorable day for Alamgir Sheriyar, who became the first bowler to capture 50 first-class wickets this season when he had key batsman Matthew Hayden taken by Vikram Solanki at first slip in his second over.

The 25-year-old left-arm paceman struck again four balls later, knocking out Mal Loye's off and middle stumps as the batsman opted to leave an inswinger, and with Phil Newport accounting for Rob Bailey and David Sales in quick succession Northants were effectively out of it at 31-4.

Richard Illingworth ended the middle-order resistance of Russell Warren and Tony Penberthy, who dug in to add 68 either side of lunch, and Sheriyar returned to bowl David Ripley on his way to 3-56.

Stuart Lampitt applied the finishing touch by having Devon Malcom caught by skipper Tom Moody in the slip cordon, and the game was over with nearly four full sessions remaining.

Worcestershire had earlier extended their second innings to 384 all out with Steve Rhodes and Phil Newport carrying their vital ninth-wicket stand to 56.

Rhodes went without adding to his overnight score while Newport was last out for 42.

Even with time on their side Northants needed a good start to their chase, and Sheriyar denied them it to set up a heartening 16-point triumph.