Steelbacks ready for 'massive' matches

Although each team plays 14 games in the NatWest T20 Blast group stages, every one of them will be aware of the dangers of a loss of form.

Thursday, 27th July 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:53 am
Skipper Alex Wakely is steeling his side for two huge games (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

A three or four match dip can prove costly come the conclusion of the league table scrap because there are so many teams in the mix for a quarter-final spot.

It is an old cliché , but it really does seem that anyone can beat anyone in a Blast battle.

Consequently, the Steelbacks know just how important it is to get straight back on the horse against Worcestershire Rapids this evening.

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David Ripley’s men will be desperate to make their mark on home soil, having lost at Nottinghamshire Outlaws in a rain-affected game last Saturday.

And their desire will be increased further by the fact the only game they have completed at the County Ground so far ended in a comprehensive seven-wicket defeat to Derbyshire Falcons.

After that match, the Steelbacks won three of their next four, with the other an abandonment against Yorkshire Vikings.

It was a welcome good run that catapulted David Ripley’s men up the standings and at one point they topped the table.

They ended Leicestershire Foxes’ 100 per cent to the competition last Friday and impressed with the bat at Trent Bridge a day later, smashing 195 for eight.

But that wasn’t to be enough as Notts snatched a fortuitous victory via the Duckworth-Lewis method, having only faced 5.1 overs.

And now Northants know just how vital it will be to bounce back quickly against Worcestershire tonight and at Derbyshire tomorrow.

“It was a shame we couldn’t get a game because it was set up nicely,” said skipper Alex Wakely after the defeat to Nottinghamshire.

“This week’s games become massive for us now.”