Northants Steelbacks coach David Ripley said he was proud of his team’s performance despite the fact they slumped to a six-wicket defeat to Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley in the Vitality Blast.
It was the County’s eighth defeat in nine starts in the competition this summer, but whereas many of the previous defeats have been emphatic, that wasn’t the case in Leeds.
Despite Northants only totalling a very modest 129 for seven in their 20 overs, Yorkshire edged home with just eight balls to spare, with New Zealand international Kane Williamson’s 52 not out from 44 balls the match-winning innings.
“Ultimately, we went down again, but the changing room feels a better place when you’ve fought hard,” said Ripley.
“It needed a world-class player for Yorkshire to get them home, and we scrapped really hard.
“You look back at the game, and we should have got 10 or 15 more runs, as we just needed to find a way of getting to 140.
“That may have been enough to win the game, but I’m proud of our performance tonight.”
Yorkshire Vikings coach Andrew Gale said: “It was a bit shaky at times in the chase having lost Adam Lyth first ball, but Kane held the innings together and played a really mature knock.
“It was exactly what you want from your overseas player.
“I said to the lads at the start of the day ‘The only thing that will cost us is a win is complacency, and we weren’t.
“From ball one, we were right on it. I could tell we were up for the challenge.
“We knew the pitch would be a little bit tacky. It was originally going to be used for the Derbyshire game that was cancelled (last month), and we were a bit worried about it.
“So we knew we had to be smart, and we were. It wasn’t a shirt front like it usually is here.”
Northants are back in T20 action on Sunday when they host Birmingham Bears at the County Ground (start 2.30pm).