Steelbacks to stick with successful formula

Cameron White has played a vital role in the Steelbacks' route to finals day

Cameron White has played a vital role in the Steelbacks' route to finals day

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Richard Levi’s inclusion is expected to be the only change for Northamptonshire in their Friends Life t20 semi-final with Essex tomorrow (Saturday).

The South African got back in the country on Thursday after a brief stint with his country’s ‘A’ side and will replace Ben Duckett in the team that crushed Durham in the quarter-final.

And head coach David Ripley is glad to have him back on board, saying: Richard’s still keen and he couldn’t wait to get back over here.

“It’s easy to forget that overseas players want to play in domestic finals if they can and the chance doesn’t come around that often.

“He’s done an excellent job for us so far and hopefully that will continue this weekend.”

The Steelbacks have been fortunate this year with the output of their two overseas players and this is a factor that Ripely believes shouldn’t be overlooked.

He added: “Cameron (White) has got the experience to perform in tight games and we saw what he is capable of in the quarter-final.

“He’s different to most of our players in that when he decides to go he can go really big and it’s been noticeable that when he’s performed we’ve generally won the game.

“It’s not like Championship cricket when you can get into form and produce a consistent run of scores and the key in Twenty20 cricket is that when you do get a score then it goes towards winning the game.

“Between them, Cameron and Richard have probably won five games and that is an outstanding number.”

Although the Steelbacks are likely to stick with the same line-up, they will travel to Birmingham with a 15-strong squad, the reason being, according to Ripley, to be prepared for every eventuality.

“We’ll try to cover every base, that’s our intention.

“It’s more in case we get through the semi-final and someone gets injured and it would be silly to go there and not be prepared.”

Steelbacks from : Wakely, Levi, Coetzer, White, Crook, Willey, Middlebrook, Spriegel, Murphy, Daggett, Azharullah, Keogh, Hall, Stone, Duckett.