Steelbacks set to welcome Levi back for Middlesex showdown

David Ripley is looking forward to welcoming Richard Levi back for Tuesday's quarter-final (picture: Peter Short)
David Ripley is looking forward to welcoming Richard Levi back for Tuesday's quarter-final (picture: Peter Short)

David Ripley says South African star Richard Levi is on track to return from injury in Tuesday’s NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final against Middlesex.

Levi has been missing since injuring his shoulder in the defeat at Yorkshire Vikings on July 22.

The Steelbacks lost that game and the one at home to the Vikings a week later, but they have done enough to bring the last-eight tie to the County Ground.

And they will be hoping for a big boost, with Levi set to make his comeback against Middlesex.

“He’s on course as far as we’re concerned,” said head coach Ripley.

“We feel that he’s going to be ready for the quarter-final.

“Richard is confident, the physio’s confident and we’ll just work towards him being ready to go come that quarter-final.”

The Steelbacks have reached finals day in two of the past three seasons, winning the T20 competition in 2013 and finishing as runners-up last year.

And now Middlesex, who finished third in the South Group, with seven wins from 14 matches, stand in the way of another Edgbaston appearance, on Saturday, August 20.

“It’s just about how well you play on the day,” Ripley said.

“I’m sure Sussex had a very strong group stage campaign last year and they had a home quarter-final, but Northants rolled in and you know the rest (the Steelbacks won by seven wickets).

“You’ve got to be at your best on the night because anyone can beat anyone.

“We’ll have to regroup a bit and emphasise what good cricket we have played here.

“There’s been talk of us losing a bit of momentum but we’ve still been playing pretty well.

“We’ve got Richard Levi to add to our line-up and it’s about who plays well on the day.

“It is an advantage playing at home, and we’ve got that.”