Ripley: Northants ready for tough Derbyshire test
Northants head coach David Ripley knows his side will face a tough test when they host Derbyshire in a four-day fixture that starts on Friday.
But he is desperate for his side to pick up another win as they look to enhance their chances of promotion from Specsavers County Championship Division Two.
Northants secured a thrilling win at Durham on Monday, sealing a two-wicket victory from the penultimate ball of the match.
And Ripley’s men will now face a Derbyshire side who would have won at Nottinghamshire earlier this week had the weather not intervened.
“We had a good win against Derbyshire away earlier this season,” said Ripley, reflecting on his side’s three-wicket triumph at Derby in mid-April.
“A run chase was set up, they played their part and we managed to beat them.
“They come into this game on the back of having beaten top of the league but for the weather.
“They’ve got a lot of batting, they’re without a few seam bowlers but they bat all the way down and they will be a tough test for us.”
Northants have won three of their opening five Championship fixtures this season and are now 27 points behind second-placed Kent.
And Ripley said: “We’ve won three out of five and we’ve put ourselves in a good position in the table.
“Unfortunately, there’s a few sides who have done better but there are some strong sides in the division.
“Other teams have played some good cricket.
“Generally, with three wins from your first five games you would find yourselves in the top two, but we’re not there.
“We’re still pleased with the start we’ve made.
“We can only do what we can do.
“It’s a tough division.
“Derbyshire will be really disppointed with the weather robbing them of the chance to beat the top of the league. Notts have looked formidable and Derbyshire would have won that game but for the rain.
“It is a tough division, everyone can beat everyone and we’ve got to keep doing what we can do and stay in the mix for as long as we can.”
Northants squad for the clash with Derbyshire: Azharullah, Buck, Crook, Cobb, Duckett, Gleeson, Holden, Hughes, Keogh, Kleinveldt, Newton, Sanderson, Wakely (c).