Winning experience vital for Steelbacks

David Willey returns to the Steelbacks' side for the trip to Kent this weekend
David Willey returns to the Steelbacks' side for the trip to Kent this weekend

Northamptonshire travel to Tunbridge Wells to face Kent tomorrow (Sunday) looking for their third Yorkshire Bank 40 victory in a row.

Comfortable defeats of Worcestershire and Warwickshire over the Bank Holiday weekend have left the Steelbacks handily placed in the middle of Group A.

And head coach David Ripley is hopeful that the experience of tasting victory can bringa bout more of the same against a Kent side who have won four of their six outings in the competition so far.

He said: “Winning is a habit and when you experience winning games and the positions you were in, whether with the bat or in the field, and the more of those experiences that we bank then the tight games we can come out on top of.

“When we got our chances we were pretty ruthless (in the two wins) which was good to see.

“We played some really good one-day cricket over the two days and I think winning the game at Worcester, especially when you’re all out in the field together, you get a good feeling and there’s a buzz about it.”

One aspect of the victories was the Steelbacks’ fielding which was sharp on both occasions.

Coaches and captains will often preach about the need to display energy in the field and Ripley feels that if the club are to have any sustained success in the limited overs formats then this has to be the norm rather than the exception.

He added: “It’s the one area where you can show that you’re competing. You can’t really do it with the gat in your hand because that comes down to making decisions and how calm you are and when you’re bowling it’s the same.

“In the field it’s about how much energy you can give, can you dive about, can you back up and give someone a pat on the back when they’ve done some good work.”

With regards to the team that will be on duty, David Willey will come back into the side after missing the match against Warwickshire but both Olly Stone (side strain) and Ben Duckett (knee) will miss out.

“That’s what it’s about and there is no reason why we can’t be like that all the time.”

Northants from: Wakely, Coetzer, Sales, Spriegel, Newton, Hall, Willey, Crook, Copeland, Middlebrook, Daggett, Murphy.