Azharullah: Aggressive approach paying off for Steelbacks

Muhammad Azharullah (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Muhammad Azharullah (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Muhammad Azharullah has revealed how a change in approach before last Thursday’s victory against Derbyshire Falcons helped turn Northants Steelbacks’ NatWest T20 Blast fortunes around.

The Steelbacks beat the Falcons by six wickets and went on to claim a total of five points from three games last week to ensure their run of three successive defeats came to to an end.

Their most impressive victory came at Yorkshire on Sunday as the star-studded Vikings side slumped to an eight-wicket defeat on home soil.

That win put the Steelbacks just three points off the top of the North Group, and Azharullah is delighted with his side’s revival.

“We sat down before the three games and decided to play aggressive cricket - and that’s what we did,” said the bowler.

“Five points from three games was a massive effort.”

The Steelbacks took the bull by the horns at Headingley, racing to victory in a rain-affected game that was reduced to 12 overs per side.

David Ripley’s men needed just 7.4 overs to get past Yorkshire’s 82 for seven and will now aim to secure another two points when they host Lancashire Lightning on Friday night.

“Yorkshire are a very good side with lots of international players in their team,” said Azharullah.

“The boys just stuck together, worked hard and it’s a very strong team performance.

“If you start nudging it around on an 82 target you get yourself in trouble.

“We just wanted to finish it as soon as possible so Richard (Levi) really played an important role with 35, backed up by Boom Boom (Shahid Afridi) and Ben Duckett.”