Willey downcast after defeat despite stellar individual performance

David Willey hit a century and took two wickets in the Steelbacks' defeat to Essex
David Willey hit a century and took two wickets in the Steelbacks' defeat to Essex
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David Willey cut a disappointed figure in the aftermath of the Northamptonshire Steelbacks’ four-wicket defeat to Essex Eagles in their final Royal London Cup game.

Willey hammered 113 in the home side’s 311, which came in 47 out of the 50 overs, and he pointed to the failure to bat the overs as a turning point in the contest.

He said: “We didn’t bat our overs which was costly for us, we were probably 40 short in the end and then we gave away too many extras.

“It was a bad ball (that I got out to) and I should’ve cleared the ropes. I’d played nicely up to then and it would’ve been nice to bat for another four or five overs and get us up to 350.”

As well as his innings, Willey picked up 2-60 from his 10 overs and he admitted that following serious back problems he’s just happy to be able to play a full part.

“I’m hitting my straps again with my one-day bowling. I’ve struggled a bit with my shoulder which is frustrating,” he added.

“I’m starting to get my plans together with the bowling and with the batting I’m slowly maturing the more opportunities I get.

“At the start of the season I wasn’t sure if I’d bowl again it was that tough a winter for me.

“I’m happy to be back out there and it’s taken a lot longer than I expected to be back to full fitness.”

The defeat brings an end to the Steelbacks’ one-day season, a campaign that has seen them miss out on qualification for the knockout stages in both the 20 and 50-over formats and Willey knows that what has been produced hasn’t been good enough.

“It’s been poor. We’ve shown glimpses of what we’re capable of but we’ve lacked consistency with both bat and ball,” he said.

“The reasons for that I don’t know, but we should be competing better than that next year.”