Ripley lauds Steelbacks’ performance

Kyle Coetzer's good form continued against Warwickshire

Kyle Coetzer's good form continued against Warwickshire

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“It was a benchmark performance.”

That is the opinion of Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley following his side’s 27-run defeat of Warwickshire in the Friends Life t20.

At a buoyant County Ground, the hosts had too much for the visitors as they comfortably defended a total that was about par and Ripley appreciated the continuation of his side’s good form.

He said: “It was a good pitch but it was two weeks’ old effectively so the ball was sticking in it a little bit.

“I thought 160 was a good score. We didn’t get there in out normal fashion with a big finish but we came out of the blocks quickly with a good powerplay and I always thought that we could defend that total and squeeze them..

“It was what we’ve been doing, taking early wickets, making the rate go up and squeezing them in the middle overs.

“It was what we’re all about and hopefully that will continue at Taunton on Sunday.”

Kyle Coetzer, with a career best 70 not out, and Muhammad Azharullah, with four wickets, were the standout performers on the night but the cameo at the top of the order from Richard Levi, who smacked 35 from just 21 balls, drew words of praise from the coach.

He added: “With Rob Newton’s injury we were short of a bit of that at the top of the order and our results over the past two years have shown that runs have been our problem.

“He’s a nice lad, he blends in well and we know that he can hit the ball. If he wins a couple of games then he will have done what we brought him here for.”