Confident Northants are ready to meet Hampshire challenge 'head on'

Northants were impressive seven-wicket winners against Middlesex last time outNorthants were impressive seven-wicket winners against Middlesex last time out
Northants were impressive seven-wicket winners against Middlesex last time out
Head coach John Sadler is delighted Northants go into Thursday’s clash with one of the LV= Insurance County Championship title favourites Hampshire with a win already under their belts.

The Division One victory over Middlesex at the County Ground last weekend was the perfect response to the opening round defeat at Kent, and Sadler says the players are 'ready to meet the challenge' of taking on Hampshire.

Last year it took Northants until the middle of July to claim a win in red ball cricket, but this time around they have done it by mid-April, and Sadler is keen for his team to now build on that success.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The lads have been good, they have played some good cricket," said the head coach.

"We were a bit unfortunate at Kent where we got on the wrong end of a toss, but we fought back really well for three days, and even though we lost I was really pleased with attitude and the way the lads went about their business.

"Then we played a great game against Middlesex and deserved the win because we played the better cricket.

"We had to wait until mid-season last year and then we got wins back-to-back and it is great to get a win under our belts early.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It works well and we are pleased with that, but we know we have got to start well again against Hampshire."

James Vince's side were in the title mix until the final week of last season before eventually finishing third in the table, which is there they also currently sit.

They opened their campaign with an eight-wicket home win over Nottinghamshire but were then beaten by nine wickets by reigning champions Surrey at the Kia Oval last weekend, so will be keen to get back on track.

"They are a good side, a good outfit, and a good club that does a lot of good stuff," said Sadler.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"They have got some match winners and are a really good unit, but so are we, so we are ready to meet the challenge head on.

"Their seam attack is very experienced, they are red ball specialists to a certain extent and are rested during white ball periods, so we know they are well oiled.

"But they also have some dangerous batting, and they are a good unit, but we aim to be ready for them."

Meanwhile, James Sales and Gus Miller starred as Northants seconds hammered their Glamorgan counterparts by nine wickets in Newport on Wednesday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The scheduled four day game last barely a day and a half as the Welsh side were twice skittled for 138 in their first innings and just 80 in their second, with Northants making 194 first up before easing to 28 for one and victory.

In the Welsh side’s first innings, Sales claimed four for 33 and Miller three for 40, while trialist Liam Hurt, a former Lancashire player, claimed three for 29.

Another trialist, WE Masojada, then top scored with 43 and Saif Zaib hit 38 as the County made 194, before Miller (4-21) and Sales (3-12) got to work again to rush the home side out for just 80 and tee up an easy win.