Steelbacks’ relief as Willey’s blast earns plaudits

Action from the Steelbacks' win over Derbyshire
Action from the Steelbacks' win over Derbyshire
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“That’s what David does.”

So went the explanation for David Willey’s batting power show from his Steelbacks head coach David Ripley.

Action from the Steelbacks' win over Derbyshire

Action from the Steelbacks' win over Derbyshire

Willey smacked 60 from 27 balls at the top of the order to send Northamptonshire cruising to their first NatWest T20 Blast victory of the season.

They cantered past Derbyshire Falcons with six wickets and more than two overs in hand.

There were good contributions elsewhere but it was Willey’s knock that stood out.

“We have a lot of match-winning cricketers,” Ripley said.

Action from the Steelbacks' win over Derbyshire

Action from the Steelbacks' win over Derbyshire

“Josh Cobb, Richard Levi, Shahid Afridi, Steven Crook... they keep coming.

“But that’s what David Willey does. That’s why he is in the England squad.

“He is a top one-day player.

“Hopefully now he goes off and gets a chance for England at some point over the series.

Action from the Steelbacks' win over Derbyshire

Action from the Steelbacks' win over Derbyshire

“We’re grateful England let him play tonight.

“It’s common sense for him to get some cricket but when he puts in a performance like that we’re grateful he was here.

“It’s a relief to get off the mark.

“We wanted to put together that 40-over game.

“We’ve been good in parts but tonight we did it all the way through.

“It was more of an all-round show and in the end we won with quite a bit left in the tank I think.

“And it helps when David Willey shapes a run chase like that, though.”