Northants Steelbacks get one final chance to secure a home quarter-final in the NatWest T20 Blast as they seek revenge over Yorkshire Vikings at the County Ground on Friday night.
Northants were well beaten at Headingley last week and the margin of the 75-run defeat has opened the door for Yorkshire to steal a home quarter-final from the Steelbacks.
A Yorkshire win would draw them level with Northants on 16 points and a net run-rate swing of 0.182 is needed to climb into second place.
But back at Wantage Road, Northants are confident of an eighth win from 12 completed matches and, in Richard Gleeson, have a bowler with the second-best economy rate of those who have bowled 20 or more overs in this season’s competition.
Gleeson has benefitted from being an unknown quantity so far, but is he going to be found out?
“Well, it’s not happened too much yet!” Gleeson said.
“Ian Bell got hold of me a little bit, but I bowled a little too full so I’ve gone back to try and hit my heavy lengths.
“I’m doing a slightly different job with Rory (Kleinveldt) back in the side maybe coming into the wind a little bit more – but it’s all learning for me and I’m just going to keep trying to improve.”
Gleeson has quickly adjusted to professional cricket and his T20 returns have been superb with 10 wickets at 18.90, his overs costing just 6.19 runs an over.
“I’ve watched a bit of the tournament on television so I’ve been catching up on a bit of knowledge and you get to see a few things that batsmen are trying to do,” said Gleeson.
“Rory Kleinveldt has been such a great help.
“He’s had a good look at me now, he knows what skills I’ve got and has been really helpful telling me where might be best to bowl – things that like that have helped me produce some decent figures recently.”
Gleeson is keen to have another crack at Yorkshire so soon after last week’s humbling, and thinks home advantage could be key.
“I think we fell short with the square boundaries at Headingley which made it difficult for our spinners, and they’ve been on top form recently,” said the Northants man.
“But back at home on our ground that we know, hopefully we can get one back on them.
“It’s been really enjoyable playing at Wantage Road.
“The crowd have been getting right behind us and, though the wickets haven’t given too much help for the fast bowlers, I’ve bowled on similar wickets at Blackpool and I’ve been learning quickly so hopefully I can produce another good spell on Friday.”
The match starts at 6.30pm. and is being broadcast live on Sky Sports.