All about the Steelbacks for Sadler ahead of crunch Blast trip to on-fire Falcons

It's the battle of the two form teams in the Vitality Blast North Group when the Steelbacks head to Derbyshire Falcons on Tuesday night (start 7pm).

By Jeremy Casey
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 2:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 3:36 pm
Steelbacks head coach John Sadler
Steelbacks head coach John Sadler

Northants are unbeaten in their past five matches, winning four and then seeing Saturday's clash at Worcestershire Rapids rained off, while Falcons have won five on the spin.

Micky Arthur's side have been in imperious form since they were beaten by five wickets at the County Ground on June 7, and they moved up to fourth in the table with a double success last weekend, beating Yorkshire on Saturday and Birmingham Bears on Sunday.

They are two points behind second-placed Steelbacks with four group matches to play and will be full of confidence, but head coach John Sadler insists he will be concentrating on his side's strengths going into the game.

"Falcons have played some good cricket, and they are a well-oiled unit," said Sadler, who is a former Derbyshire player and coach.

"They know what to do, but we are playing some good cricket, and I am a big believer that we focus on ourselves and make sure that we do our jobs well.

"There is a bit of planning for the opposition, and there are match-ups and stuff and plans in place, but when it comes down to it we focus on what we do.

"We have played some brilliant cricket in this tournament, the brand of cricket we are playing is exciting, it is full of energy, full of speed.

"It has been positive. We are taking a positive approach and have been led very well by the skipper, while the two overseas players have been magnificent for us, both with their skills, but also the way they are around the group.

"The way they speak to some of the youngers guys has been great, and we are in a good place."

And he added: "We just hope that we can keep the momentum going now.

"We were disappointed on Saturday (at Worcester) because when you are playing well and you have confidence then you want to keep playing and keep playing.

"On that front I was pleased with the Lancashire game (Steelbacks won by seven wickets on Friday night), because we hadn't played for six days and the concern was that we may lose some momentum.

"So it was really pleasing to come back and turn up and play so well against them, and we now have three massive games coming up."

After the Derbyshire date on Tuesday, Steelbacks host Birmingham Bears on Wednesday and Yorkshire Vikings on Friday (both matches start at 6.30pm).

Northants have made one change to the squad from the win over Lancashire on Friday night, with Emilio Gay dropping out.

Chris Lynn, who missed the Lightning date due to a calf strain, has been passed fit to play.

Steelbacks squad v Derbyshire: Buck, Cobb, Curran, Heldreich, Keogh, Lynn, McManus, Neesham, Russell, Sales, Sanderson, Taylor, G White, Zaib

Derbyshire squad: Masood, Reece, Came, du Plooy, Madsen, Guest, McKiernan, Dal, Hughes, Thomson, Kerr, Conners, Watt, Scrimshaw