County getting their rewards for doing the basics

It's all going to plan for Steelbacks' captain Alex Wakely
It's all going to plan for Steelbacks' captain Alex Wakely

Alex Wakely says that partnerships and early wickets are the factors behind Northamptonshire’s four straight victories in the Yorkshire Bank 40.

Sunday’s 63-run defeat of Sussex at Arundel moved the Steelbacks up to second in Group A behind unbeaten Nottinghamshire and it was a result of a side adhering to the basic principles of the limited overs game.

As simple as that sounds, it is something that has been lacking in their white ball cricket in recent times.

On an average pitch for a one-day contest - it was painfully slow and the bounce got increasingly lower - the visitors cobbled together a score of 191-6 which proved to be more than enough, especially once the hosts had been reduced to 7-4.

And captain Wakely is glad that performances are adhering to a tried and tested formula.

He said: “It wasn’t a good wicket for a good game of cricket but it made it tight and quite close and we managed to squeeze a few partnerships together which has been a good thing in our one-day cricket this year.

“That’s the most pleasing thing for me, the fact that we’ve stopped losing wickets all over the place and are putting scores together.

“Last year we’d have got to 150 and not given the bowlers anything to bowl at but we managed to get up to 190 which gave us a chance.

“I thought it was a decent score. When I was in with Kyle (Coetzer) early on we said that 200 was about par and when we stuttered in the middle we said 180.

“We’d have liked 200 on the board but 190 was something that we could bowl at.

“When we had that period of success a couple of years ago when we won the first five we had Chaminda (Vaas) getting early wickets and that makes it hard to come back from thereand it showed.”