Rob has become a key man for Steelbacks in T20

Rob Keogh has been a key man for Northants in recent times (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Rob Keogh has been a key man for Northants in recent times (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Prior to NatWest T20 Blast finals day last summer, Rob Keogh was something of a bit-part player in Northants' 20-over team.

He would come in and fill gaps when needed, but he never really managed to make the shirt his own in the shortest format of the game.

But that all changed at Edgbaston on August 20, 2016.

The Steelbacks couldn't get Sri Lanka all-rounder Seekkuge Prasanna back for finals day and they sought a replacement.

Dunstable-born Keogh was the man they chose to step up on the big stage.

And how he repaid them.

Keogh took a stunning catch to get rid of Nottinghamshire dangerman Andre Russell as the Steelbacks defended their 161 for eight to beat their bogey team by eight runs.

And Keogh was at it again in the final, diving forward to dismiss England star Ben Stokes as Durham were limited to 153 for eight.

But Keogh wasn't done there.

He then proceeded to hit the winning runs to ensure the Steelbacks chased down their victory target and lifted their second T20 trophy in just four years.

It was a fantastic finals day for the all-rounder and he has backed it up this season, with two match-winning displays.

He hit the winning runs against Durham again, earning the Steelbacks a six-wicket win at Chester-le-Street, before returning to Edgbaston and hitting a four from the final ball to ensure Birmingham Bears were beaten by five wickets.

It has been a case of cometh the hour, cometh the Keogh - and he is relishing the chances he has been given to get his team over the line in dramatic fashion.

"Ducky's (Ben Duckett) been giving me the nickname of finisher and hopefully it can continue," Keogh said.

"At the start, if there was a bad ball or something that went into my area, I just backed myself to hit strong shots.

"It's always nice to get runs, especially at Edgbaston, which, as I said, is one of our favourite grounds.

"When we got back in the dressing room last Friday there we were all sat in our favourite spots.

"Bucky (Nathan Buck) came in and sat in Crooky's (Steven Crook) spot so he soon got the boot.

"But it was a great win for the boys.

"And for me, it's always nice to contribute in wins like that."

And you wouldn't bet against Keogh contributing to a few more before this season's competition is finished.