Ripley wants Steelbacks to excite in NatWest T20 Blast

HOME DEBUT - Shahid Afridi will make his first Northants Steelbacks start at the County Ground on Friday night

HOME DEBUT - Shahid Afridi will make his first Northants Steelbacks start at the County Ground on Friday night

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David Ripley expects the Northants Steelbacks to excite in their opening home fixture of this season’s NatWest T20 Blast.

The Steelbacks host champions Birmingham Bears at the County Ground on Friday night (start 6.3opm) and will be bidding to bounce back from a disappointing opening-night defeat to Durham.

With the likes of Richard Levi, David Willey and Shahid Afridi, who is set to make his home debut in the clash, in the side, they will be expected to do just that.

And Ripley is confident his team has all the tools to get Steelbacks supporters off their seats.

“We have had a little break between our first game and this one which has been useful for us,” said the head coach.

“It’s given us the chance to brush up on some of our one-day skills, which we were a little bit short of in that first game.

“It’s been good to have that practice time and we’ll certainly be better prepared for this Friday’s game.

“Our schedule wasn’t very good but we were down on our skills during our first match and we’re looking forward to competing well over the competition.

“We’ve got an exciting T20 side.”