Wakely: Failing to make quarter-finals would be horrible for Steelbacks

Alex Wakely and his Steelbacks side celebrated a six-wicket win against Yorkshire Vikings at a full County Ground last Friday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Alex Wakely and his Steelbacks side celebrated a six-wicket win against Yorkshire Vikings at a full County Ground last Friday (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Alex Wakely says it would be ‘horrible’ if Northants Steelbacks missed out on a place in the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals.

And he is confident home support can help them ensure that doesn’t happen as they bid to beat Durham Jets and book a spot in the last eight on Friday night.

The Steelbacks know a win will be enough to set up a knock-out tie at one of the best two teams in the South Group next month.

They could have got over the line on Wednesday but were denied in agonising fashion as Birmingham Bears earned a one-run win at Edgbaston.

And now the Steelbacks know there will be no second chances as they bid to avenge their opening-night defeat to the Jets this week.

“It’s in our hands,” said Wakely, who hit an unbeaten 51 from 55 balls in the defeat to the Bears.

“I was pretty angry we didn’t get over the line on Wednesday, but it is up to us.

“We’ve had phenomenal home support recently, the best I’ve seen it, and if we can get that again I’m sure we’ll perform well and get that place.

“It would be horrible to go away with nothing this year.”

More than 6,500 fans packed into the County Ground to push the Steelbacks to a six-wicket win against Yorkshire last Friday.

And Wakely added: “We’re definitely ready for it.

“We’ve played some really good cricket in the past few games and we’re playing our best cricket at the right end of the tournament.”