Northants bid to bounce back in Blast after sobering run of Championship results

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Saif Zaib is desperate to help Northamptonshire 'turn it around in the Blast' as they bid to bounce back from a series of sobering LV= County Championship Division One defeats.

John Sadler's side have succumbed to three straight innings losses in the four-day action, with their most recent reverse coming at Hampshire on Saturday afternoon.

Northants, who have one win and a solitary batting bonus point so far this season, only claimed three points from the match at the Ageas Bowl and they sit rock bottom of Division One.

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But they are now able to take a break from Championship action as they look forward to their Vitality T20 Blast opener at home to Worcestershire on Wednesday evening.

Northants head coach John SadlerNorthants head coach John Sadler
Northants head coach John Sadler

And Zaib, who was the only Northants batsman to reach double figures in both innings at Hampshire, said: “It has not been the ideal couple of weeks for us. We have struggled to string a couple of partnerships together.

“It is disappointing to lose in two and a half days, but hopefully we can turn it around in the Blast.

“It does hurt and we are trying but it is just the way cricket is sometimes and unfortunately we just haven’t been good enough.

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“It is about getting confidence back into the lads and knowing that we are good enough.

"Hopefully we can have a good start to the T20 competition and then come back in a month’s time fresher and roll over Kent in the Championship.

“From a personal point of view, it was nice to score a few runs. I’ve been feeling quite nice in the last few weeks. It is a shame we couldn’t come away with a bit more to show for it.

“It is tough with their spinners, both of them have played for England, and then their fast bowling attack.

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"It isn’t their full strength side either which is a little scary.”

Northants were bowled out for 56 and 176 at Hampshire, who won by an innings and 135 runs after James Vince's 95 helped them to 367 all out in their first innings.

And Hampshire captain Vince said: "It was an important toss to win and then we set the game up by batting well on day one and past 360 which offered enough to the seamers, especially with a hard ball. It was a great batting performance.

"That session where we bowled them out in 30 overs got us way ahead in the game, which was a great effort from the bowlers.

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"They kept us waiting for the first hour or so but with no threat of rain tomorrow, it wasn't too stressful.

"We knew with the rough that Daws (Liam Dawson, who claimed six for 61 in the Northants second innings) was going to be in the game with all their left-handers.

“It took a bit of time to get that breakthrough but once we did things happened quickly for us."