Ripley happy to see Steelbacks warm up for T20 with two wins

David Ripley was pleased with Northants' T20 work-out against Worcestershire IIs at the County Ground on Monday.

Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 9:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 7:38 am
Josh Cobb hit 52 in the Steelbacks' first win against Worcestershire's second team (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

The Steelbacks seconds, largely made up of first-team squad members, were able to get some 20-over practice in a double header against the club from New Road.

Northants were comfortable winners in both matches, prevailing in the first game by six wickets and the second by 15 runs.

And with the Steelbacks edging closer to the defence of their NatWest T20 Blast title - this season's competition starts with a home game against Derbyshire on July 7 - Ripley was satisfied with Monday's matches.

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"Despite the fact their first team are playing Kent in the County Championship, Worcestershire still had a good side that provided good opposition for us," Ripley said.

"It provided cricket for everyone apart from Richard Levi and Adam Rossington, who weren't available to us.

"Everyone got something out of the day.

"It's not an ideal time because we'd like to not have a Championship game (against Kent) in the week before the T20 starts.

"That would give us the chance to get more practice games in and it would be Plan A, but looking at our schedule, we do have to think ahead and work out what Plan B looks like.

"Plan B has been the two T20 matches we had on Monday and we had a bit of time in the middle.

"We will have to just fit in practice as and where we can around those Championship games (Northants host Leicestershire next week before facing Kent the following week).

"It's going to be difficult to have anything formal and it will be more a case of if our game is over at Beckenham, we'll get the white ball out and get a bit of practice for the Friday night."

In the first of Monday's two matches, Josh Cobb top scored with 52 as the Steelbacks easily chased down the victory target of 139 with 16 balls to spare.

And in the second game, Northants defended their 195 for five, in which Rob Newton made 52, Alex Wakely 41 and Ben Duckett 40, as Worcestershire finished on 180 for six.

"It's a form of cricket the players enjoy, they're good at it and they like to stretch themselves and be positive," Ripley said.

"It was good to sit and watch some of the cricket we played on Monday.

"We were a bit rusty, but it was good to get it under our belts.

"It's slightly unfortunate we're not able to build on that because of the Championship games we've got ahead of us but I'm sure it will be the same for many other counties."