Northants Steelbacks Alex Wakely admits another final-ball defeat to Birmingham Bears is ‘hard to take’.
Wakely hit an unbeaten 51 from 55 balls and Rory Kleinveldt smashed 29 from 16 as the Steelbacks just fell short at Edgbaston.
The Bears, who had won on the final ball at the County Ground in May, just got home by one run to book a home quarter-final in the NatWest T20 Blast.
But the Steelbacks must now beat Durham Jets at home on Friday night to guarantee a place in the last eight.
“It was a wicket that was difficult to time the ball on and Rory was the only one who came in and made it look pretty easy,” Wakely said. “It’s hard to take.
“We’ve had some good games against Birmingham Bears this year, taking it down to the final ball, but unfortunately we’ve come out on the wrong side of it twice.
“Qualification is still in our hands but right now it is very frustrating to have come so close.
“It is always nice to score runs but I would rather take a win any day. Twenty20 is all about winning, it doesn’t matter about personal scores.”
The Steelbacks dropped four catches at Edgbaston, with the evening sun wreaking havoc.
And while Wakely admitted that was costly, he didn’t feel it was the only reason for the defeat.
“It’s always disapponting when you have dropped catches in a game,” he said.
“A couple of them were quite difficult out there in the sun, but at this level you’ve got to take your catches.
“One dropped catch can change the game, but I thought we restricted them to a good score in the end.
“We lost wickets at the top, which always helps the opposition, and we were trying to claw it back from there.
“It’s quite gutting that we got so close and couldn’t get over the final hurdle.”