Wakely hails matchwinner Crook

Action from Northamptonshire's t20 semi-final success over Essex
Action from Northamptonshire's t20 semi-final success over Essex

Alex Wakely paid tribute to the performance of Steven Crook in the wake of the Steelbacks’ victory in the Friends Life t20 semi-final against Essex.

The all-rounder thrashed an unbeaten 46 from only 24 deliveries as a target of 169 was reached early in the 19th over.

Action from Northamptonshire's t20 semi-final success over Essex

Action from Northamptonshire's t20 semi-final success over Essex

And captain Wakely said that it was the kind of effort that has made Crook such a valuable player since his return from Middlesex.

“He’s been outstanding for us, the talk of the town in Northampton, he’s like the Northampton Botham at the moment in all forms of cricket. He’s playing brilliantly for us,” Wakely commented.

“Crooky plays the same way every time, he just goes out there and tries to smack it.

“We’ve had it all season, we’ve had guys who could come in and play the matchwinning innings and I think that’s why we’ve been successful so far.

Nothants Steelbacks v Essex Eagles. T20 semi-final, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Nothants Steelbacks v Essex Eagles. T20 semi-final, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

“Last year we really struggled to put any momentum together, the matchwinning performances weren’t there and we’ve had one in every game so far.”

Essex had resurrected their innings in the latter stages, storming from 106-4 after 15 overs to a defendable 168-5 and Wakely insisted that the difference between now and last year is that the side adopt a more positive attitude in such situations.

He added: “They did take the game away from us, I think they got 36 off two overs at one point, that’s the kind of thing that can change a game for you.

“If we’d have been in that position going into the second half of a game last year then we’d have still been thinking about that but that’s how we’ve changed in that we can put it to bed and still come out and perform.”

Nothants Steelbacks v Essex Eagles. T20 semi-final, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Nothants Steelbacks v Essex Eagles. T20 semi-final, Edgbaston, Birmingham.