The County need to get going if promotion target is to be achieved

Chaminda Vaas.
Chaminda Vaas.

David Ripley is aware that the time has come for Northamptonshire to make their move in the County Championship.

As things stand, the County are lying in fifth place in the second tier, 27 points behind the second promotion place with a game in hand.

They face Yorkshire, the side who currently occupy that second spot, tomorrow in an encounter that they can ill afford to lose if they are to achieve the target they set out before the start of the campaign.

And this is a fact recognised by interim head coach Ripley who said: “We need to get closer to Yorkshire if we can.

“We’re in a position where we can challenge for promotion but we need to get some points from this week’s game.”

The White Rose outfit are one of two unbeaten sides in the division and have been in decent, if unspectacular, form.

They will field a strong side, especially in the batting department, but there will be a couple of notable absentees in their bowling attack and this is an area that Ripley hopes his charges can take advantage of.

He added: “They’ve only had one day off after their game at Leicester and we’ve had a bit more time so that might make a difference.

“They’ve got plenty of depth in their batting and that is their strength but both Ryan Sidebottom (injured) and Mitchell Starc (international duty) are missing.

“They’re both very good performers so we need to try and make that count when we bat.”

On the selection front, Jack Brooks is unlikely to be fit but Ripley is hopeful that both Andrew Hall and Chaminda Vaas will be able to get on the field.

He said: “Jack’s a long-shot and I don’t think he’ll be right for the game.

“Andrew and Chaminda are much more likely to be available and we’ll know after our practise today (Tuesday).

“If they can get through that and show that they can go at full tilt then they’ll be considered.

“But if not then we’ve got the likes of Ollie Stone, Lee Daggett, Luke Evans and David Burton so there is some cover there if we need it.”