Ripley’s delight as Northants bounce back

Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley

Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley

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David Ripley was delighted to see the Steelbacks bounce back as they closed in on a place in the Friends Life t20 quarter-finals with a five-run success over Worcestershire at New Road.

Twenty four hours on from a last-over defeat at Warwickshire, the County produced what head coach Ripley described as a “really good all-round performance” to stay clear at the top of the Midlands, Wales & West group.

Richard Levi smashed 70 off 43 balls to set Northamptonshire up for what proved to be a match-winning total of 137-6, although the hosts did provide a few anxious moments before David Willey (3-13) produced another match-changing spell with the ball.

Ripley said: “When the games come thick and fast like this, there is always the chance to make amends straight away rather than get stuck in a losing run.

“The players have put the defeat at Edgbaston firmly behind them with this result and that is great for us.

“It was a different surface to the one at Edgbaston. It was very dry and very cracked and I thought our total was a good one.

“Richard Levi was the standout performer and it was another match-winning contribution. I thought it was a competitive total and while they made a good fist of it, we have got the win we wanted.

“We want to get into the quarter-finals but we are hunting that home tie. We are two games away from it and we won’t be taking our foot off the gas now.”

The Steelbacks now have a welcome break before they head to Cardiff to take on Glamorgan in their penultimate group match on Friday night.

Northants remain top of the section with a four-point advantage over both Somerset and Glamorgan and Ripley believes the few days of rest will be good for his players.

“The break will be good for us,” the County head coach added.

“The majority of them will now have three days off and there will be a chance for others to play in the second team game this week.

“Hopefully that bit of rest will be good for them and we will be ready for Glamorgan on Friday.”