Changes unlikely for must-win encounter

Northants head coach David Ripley could stick with the same side that lost to Nottinghamshire for the clash with Kent
Northants head coach David Ripley could stick with the same side that lost to Nottinghamshire for the clash with Kent
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Northamptonshire are likely to field an unchanged side for the Yorkshire Bank 40 clash with Kent tomorrow (Tuesday).

The Steelbacks’ six-wicket thumping by Group A leaders Nottinghamshire at the weekend, coupled with Kent’s 39-run defeat of Worcestershire, has put thme third in the standings and facing a scenario where they need to win their last three games if a semi-final place is to become a possibility.

The first of those sees Kent visit for a clash under the floodlights and head coach David Ripley is well aware of what is at stake.

He said: “It’ll be the same squad of 13 players and we’ll probably field the same team.

“We’ve asked for a fresh wicket so there might be a couple of selection things to knock around but I don’t think we’ll change.

“We know that we’ve got to win and if we don’t then we’ll probably be out of the competition but we’re still in it at the minute and we’re looking for three wins to finish off.

“I’m still confident that we can qualify and a total of 17 points would give us every chance but we’ve got to beat Kent first.”

Competing in all three competitions at this advanced stage of the season can create problems, especially for a small squad like the one at the County Ground, but Ripley thinks that the opportunity is there to turn a good campaign into an outstanding one.

He added: “Not many clubs can say that they’re challenging in all three tournaments and that is a good place to be in.

“But if we want to make it more than a good season then we want to get over the line in something and have a trophy to show for our efforts.

“It’s good that we’ve got to finals day in the Twenty20 but that can wait until Saturday and if we can beat Kent then we’ll think abou the Netherlands on Thursday.”

Steelbacks from: Wakely, Coetzer, Willey, Sales, White, Crook, Middlebrook, Spriegel, Murphy, Daggett, Azharullah, Stone, Keogh.