Steelbacks set for two big away games

David Ripley takes his Steelbacks side to Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire this weekend (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
David Ripley takes his Steelbacks side to Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire this weekend (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
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They might not have got their NatWest T20 Blast title defence off to the best start - but the Steelbacks have bounced back in style.

And David Ripley's characterful squad will now look to take the next couple of steps towards reclaiming their crown in an intriguing away double-header this weekend.

The Steelbacks travel to Leicestershire on Friday before making quick trip up to Trent Bridge to take on Nottinghamshire in a televised clash on Saturday afternoon.

It is a tight schedule, but one which the Steelbacks will relish, having overcome the opening night home defeat to Derbyshire by claiming thrilling wins at Durham and Birmingham Bears.

"We've got back-to-back games, so they will come as a pair, Leicestershire and Notts," said Northants head coach Ripley, who has steered his team to five points from a possible eight so far.

"Every game is a big game, everyone is capable of beating everyone else so it's just about playing your best cricket on the night.

"Winning those tight matches is important because there will be tight games.

"There are too many good teams for anyone just to go running off.

"I'm pretty sure Notts were favourites at the start of the comp and they've got off to a disappointing start (losing both matches so far). but they will come good.

"You can look too far ahead and I tend not to look at the table too much until we get to game 10. Then I start having a look and thinking 'it would be nice if they beat them'.

"There's no point in thinking about it for a while because teams will beat each other but when you get to that 10-game mark you know how your season is going."