Skipper Wakely set for Steelbacks return

Alex Wakely (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Alex Wakely (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
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David Ripley expects Northants captain Alex Wakely to be fit for the trip to Derbyshire Falcons on Friday (start time 2pm).

Wakely missed Wednesday’s 55-run win against Leicestershire Foxes with a finger injury picked up in the defeat to Surrey at the Kia Oval on Monday.

But Ripley has confirmed the finger wasn’t broken, just badly cut, which had stopped the skipper leading the side at the County Ground.

David Willey was the man who steered the Steelbacks to victory against the Foxes.

Adam Rossington could be rested after Ripley admitted he has several little niggles, although Muhammad Azharullah is available after missing Wednesday’s game.

“Alex has got a bit of an open wound so it was just a bit too sore,” Ripley said.

“It’s not broken but it was difficult to see him fielding and batting, but we hope Alex will be available on Friday.

“Adam Rossington’s got several little niggles that are all kind of pilling up on him so we’ll have to asses him, but Azhar had a rest so he’ll be back available for selection.

“We’ve still got plenty of names in the hat, it’s just getting a look at the wicket and seeing what 11 can compete best for us.”

Wednesday’s win was the Steelbacks’ first in the group stages of this season’s Royal London One-Day Cup.

They have five more matches to play and will have played a total of six by the time Monday is over.

Ripley believes four wins from their remaining games should take the Steelbacks into the top four and secure a quarter-final place.

And after doing the double over Derbyshire in the NatWest T20 Blast this season, he is hoping the hat-trick will be completed on Friday.

Ripley said: “I think five wins will get you that fourth spot, four wins could possibly depending on how teams go at either end of the table, but it was certainly important we got started and nice to get that under our belt on Wednesday.

“The run-rate situation, that (220-run) defeat at the Oval will really dent us, so we will have to have more points than anybody else to get into that top order.

“We look forward to the game at Derby. We’ve played them in one-day cricket and done reasonably well so hopefully we can repeat that up there.”