Ripley rues rain’s interference in the Royal London

Maurice Chambers took 3-47 as Hampshire were bowled out for 249
Maurice Chambers took 3-47 as Hampshire were bowled out for 249
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Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley was left to curse Mother Nature at The Ageas Bowl.

In their Royal London Cup clash against Hampshire, the visitors kept the hosts down to an average total of 249 but didn’t get the opportunity as the rain turned up during the interval and Ripley thinks that the target was definitely achievable.

He said: “I thought they were under par and the scores at this ground suggest they were under par.

“We fought back well from the second powerplay and I would’ve backed us to get 250 on what was a very good pitch.

“One point, given that we’ve already lost two games, isn’t ideal but it keeps us bubbling along before the double-header on Sunday and Monday.

“It’s just a shame that we didn’t get the chance to try and convert it into a win because we were favourites at half-time.”

In the aftermath of the heavy defeat to Yorkshire on Tuesday, Ripley was less than complimentary about his charges’ bowling but he had words of praise for his seamers this time around.

He added: “I thought Moz (Maurice Chambers) and Az (Muhammad Azharullah) were very good. They were very good in practice yesterday and they ran in with good intent.

“That goes for the fielding as well and it was a very good response from the Yorkshire game.”

Next up for the Steelbacks is a trip to Leicestershire on Sunday, followed by the visit of Derbyshire 24 hours later and Ripley has his sights set on two victories.

“It’ll be a good test for us having two games back to back and a couple of wins can shape the campaign,” he said.

“What we need to do is to try and get a run of good performances together because we’ve been a bit stop-start with a good performance being followed by a poor one.” E