Ripley revels in County Ground ‘fortress’ after Steelbacks slay Middlesex

David Ripley saw his side saunter to finals day (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
David Ripley saw his side saunter to finals day (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
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David Ripley labelled the County Ground a ‘fortress’ after the Steelbacks slayed Middlesex to set up yet another finals day appearance.

Northants will head to Edgbaston for the third time in four years after securing a seven-wicket win against the side from Lord’s on Tuesday night.

It was a comprehensive success, with the foundations laid by a superb bowling effort that saw Middlesex limited to 132 for seven from their 20 overs.

The Steelbacks made light work of the reply as Adam Rossington’s unbeaten 67 steered them home in front of a packed house.

And Ripley said: “It’s a lot of hard work in the group, a lot of highs and lows and when you get to the knock-out stage, this is not the time to go out.

“We wanted to be part of the (finals) day and having the home advantage was always a big thing. We’ve only lost two games here and it’s a bit of a fortress for us.

“Whoever we were playing, we’d back ourselves at home and it will be nice to sit back and watch the other games over the next couple of nights to see who we get.”

Nottinghamshire and Northants are the two teams to have secured their finals day places so far, with the other two quarter-finals - between Gloucestershire and Durham, and Glamorgan and Yorkshire - to take place over the next two days.

But those sides will struggle to win as impressively as the Steelbacks, who were always in control against Middlesex.

“We always looked like we had another gear in us which we didn’t need to use because the damage was done up front with the ball,” Ripley said.

“We squeezed well at the end of their innings and nine times out of 10 we’d win that game chasing that score with the batting we’ve got.

“It was still a bit of a nervy watch until Adam (Rossington) hit those two sixes in an over, then it was finally time to relax and get the suitcase out and get ready to go to Edgbaston.”