Steelbacks boss Ripley set to give young guns a go after defeat to Vikings

Ben Curran is set to feature at Leicestershire on Friday night (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Ben Curran is set to feature at Leicestershire on Friday night (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

David Ripley is ready to give the Northants youngsters a chance against Leicestershire Foxes on Friday night after seeing his side suffer an 11th defeat in 13 T20 matches.

The Steelbacks were thrashed by seven wickets on Thursday night as Yorkshire Vikings, who were inspired by David Willey's 79, sailed to a convincing Vitality Blast success.

It was a seventh defeat in as many T20 home games this season for Northants and they now travel to Leicestershire looking to rack up just their second win overall.

And Ripley is set to call on some of his club's bright prospects as his side look to turn the tide ahead of their return to Championship action at home to Middlesex on Sunday.

"We'll rest one or two at Leicester," Ripley said.

"We're just trying to get a little balance and we want to give opportunities.

"Ben Curran will play and we'll have Charlie Thurston, Tom Sole and Gareth Wade playing.

"They're four young guys, we'll put some experience around those guys and see how we get on.

"We've won one game out of 13 so we can't do a lot worse.

"We've kind of got our eye on Sunday and we don't want this hangover going into Championship cricket.

"We've got to stop the rot.

"Sunday, first session, we've got to get out, play well and have something to really push and play for as a group for the final six weeks of the season."

The Steelbacks won the toss against Yorkshire but could only make 162 for eight, despite a superb unbeaten 68 from 39 balls from Josh Cobb.

And the Vikings found it all too easy in reply, getting home with 27 balls to spare.

"It was not a very good night," Ripley said.

"We looked light with the runs even though Josh Cobb played very well.

"We struggled to find anyone to build a partnership with Josh and he only faced 25 balls in the last 11 overs. You need him on strike when he's going well.

"We muddled our way through to 160 and it didn't look enough, although if we had our time again, we might have chased because the ball did slide on better under the lights.

"It looked a better batting wicket second time than batting first and you wouldn't have thought that because it was the third time we've used it, which is why we batted first.

"We're clutching for some comfort.

"They came out of the blocks very well and you hope one of those shots didn't come out of the middle and got caught on the boundary and they're 15 for two and we've got a real game on.

"It wasn't quite as bad as the scoreboard looked, but it's not a great night."

On the bowling effort, Ripley added: "We couldn't get a grip.

"We've seen it before from those two players (Willey and Adam Lyth, who hit 66 from 41 balls).

"We weren't rock bottom, we had semi chances that might have made a difference, but they were very high quality.

"It was a fine partnership and the game was won."