Northants boss Ripley expects another exciting Worcestershire encounter

Josh Cobb is set to miss Northants' clash with Worcestershire (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Josh Cobb is set to miss Northants' clash with Worcestershire (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
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Northants head coach David Ripley is expecting another exciting encounter when Worcestershire come to the County Ground on Friday.

Ripley's men return to Specsavers County Championship Division Two action after a disappointing Royal London One-Day Cup campaign.

The Steelbacks finished second bottom in the North Group, having won just one of their eight matches.

But they have looked in good shape in the four-day stuff this season, winning two of their opening three fixtures in the championship.

They got the better of Glamorgan and Derbyshire before being narrowly beaten at Worcestershire, who edged home by 20 runs in an enthralling contest.

And Northants will now look to avenge that defeat on home soil this week.

“The schedule is much better in that we can take advantage and get our proper practice back in and be ready for a good Worcestershire side,” Ripley said.

“We’ve had some good battles with those guys recently and I’m sure this next one coming up will be similar.

"The game we had at Worcester had lots of turning points and could easily have gone our way and I’ll expect much the same over the next four days.”

Third-placed Worcestershire still boast a 100 per cent record, having won all three of their championship games so far.

But Northants are just a place lower in the standings and are desperate to keep hopes of promotion alive in the coming weeks.

“We’ve made a good start and now have another three big games to continue to push in every block of matches,” said Ripley.

“We’ve got no one-day distractions in this period coming up so we can get back into good habits – hitting hard lengths with the ball and converting starts with the bat into good scores.

“At the end of these three games, if we’ve played as well as we did in the first three we’ll certainly be in the top half – and that’s where we want to be into September so we have some meaningful cricket to play for and we can push for one of those top two spots.”

Alex Wakely, Adam Rossington and Rob Keogh are said to be “moving forward” with their injury issues, but Rob Newton and Josh Cobb are likely to miss the Worcestershire game.