David’s delighted as Steelbacks make T20 quarter-finals

David Ripley (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
David Ripley (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

David Ripley was delighted that the gods smiled on his side as a North Group wash-out assured Northants Steelbacks of a place in the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals.

The Steelbacks were set to play Durham Jets at the County Ground on Friday night knowing a win would guarantee their spot in the last eight.

But with the rain ruining any chances of play in that encounter and the matches at Worcestershire and Leicestershire also called off, Northants progressed.

The Steelbacks finished third in the North Group, with Lancashire Lightning, who were due to play at New Road, also going through.

But there was disappointment for Nottinghamshire, who missed out on run rate to Lightning due to the weather forcing their match at Leicester’s Grace Road to be abandoned.

Whatever the weather, Ripley insists his men would have got the job done, and he feels the outcome is just reward for his side’s efforts in the competition so far.

“We’ve done really well,” Ripley said. “We’ve played some good cricket and got on a roll at the right time.

“I’m glad the gods have looked down on us at the right time because the forecast I saw yesterday hinted we might be unlucky and others might get to play.

“It’s evened itself up but I still think we’d have won this game.

“Nevertheless, I’ll take this all day long and it’s good to look forward to that quarter-final.

“It sets us up for the 50-over competition that starts tomorrow (with a game against Durham at the County Ground).

“We’ve got six games in nine days and by the time we’ve played those we’ll have a good idea how that competition’s going as well.”

The Steelbacks had lost their first three games in the Blast but bounced back superbly to win seven of their next 10.

And they will now go into next month’s away quarter-final at Sussex Sharks in confident mood.

“Whoever you play, home advantage will be important but we’ve won games on the road,” Ripley said.

“We’ve played some good cricket, we’ve had continuity of selection, which has been key.

“Hopefully between now and then we won’t have anything go badly wrong.

“Whoever we play, we’ll feel we can go there and win.”