County Cricket - Strength in depth is paying dividends

James Middlebrook and David Sales extend their partnership at Canterbury
James Middlebrook and David Sales extend their partnership at Canterbury

A FEATURE of the strong County Championship campaign Northamptonshire enjoyed last season was the runs scored by their lower order.

And that was back in evidence at Canterbury yesterday as the visitors built a large first innings total.

After David Sales and James Middlebrook’s substantial stand was broken, Con de Lange and David Willey carried on the good work and that found a satisfied spectator in head coach David Capel.

He said: “It was exactly what we did last year with Midders (Middlebrook) at nine scoring heavily and we’ve built the squad around that depth of batting.

“If you are able to bat into the second day then having people lower in the order who can bat as well as Con (de Lange) and David (Wiley) makes a big difference.

“When your middle order can cash in properly you are able to put big totals on the board and that is what we’ve done here.”

And Capel admitted that the make-up of the squad was planned when he took over in 2006.

He continued: “It was something we looked at all those years ago, having players who were quality cricketers in their strongest string but who could offer a lot in the other one.

“The likes of Lance Klusener and Nicky Boje started that off, the use of a number of all-rounders, and we’ve continued that on to the team that is playing now.”