Ripley: T20 double-header so crucial for Steelbacks

Steelbacks head coach David Ripley (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Steelbacks head coach David Ripley (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

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David Ripley feels Northants have a great chance to make their move in the NatWest T20 Blast this week.

The Steelbacks face back-to-back away games with Friday night’s trip to North Group pacesetters Worcestershire Rapids followed by a game at Nottinghamshire Outlaws on Saturday.

That gives the county an opportunity to continue gathering momentum following four matches unbeaten in the competition.

And Ripley recognises the importance of getting positive results as his side, who are currently just three points off the top, bid to push for a quarter-final place.

“When games come back to back, that’s the time when you can really make a move up the table or it can really dent you,” said the Steelbacks head coach.

“A couple of losses takes the wind out of you, but two wins and you probably find yourself sitting in the top two.”

The Steelbacks claimed a nail-biting win against Lancashire Lightning last Friday, securing a four-run success on the final ball of the match.

Muhammad Azharullah dismissed James Faulkner, who had smashed 73, to seal a successful defence of his side’s 169 for five.

And Ripley, who saw his team beat Kent by eight wickets in the County Championship three days later, said: “It was a great game of T20 cricket.

“It was the second one we’ve had at the County Ground that went right to the last ball, last time we lost - to Warwickshire - and thankfully we won last Friday.

“In general, we deserved the win, we were on top for more passages of play.”