Sadler backing teenager Sales to 'come back stronger' after difficult T20 debut

John Sadler is backing teenager James Sales to 'come back stronger' from his testing Vitality Blast debut against Birmingham Bears on Tuesday night.

By Jeremy Casey
Friday, 27th May 2022, 1:06 pm
Teenager James Sales was on the wrong end of a brutal over of hitting from Birmingham Bears' Paul Stirling (Picture: Peter Short)
Teenager James Sales was on the wrong end of a brutal over of hitting from Birmingham Bears' Paul Stirling (Picture: Peter Short)

On a night when Paul Stirling dished out punishment to every bowler as he powered his way to a stunning 119 in his side's 125-run demolition of the Steelbacks, he took a particular liking to right-arm seamer Sales with a brutal display of big-hitting.

The Academy product and England Under-19 bowler took the ball for the 13th over of the Bears innings and saw the first five deliveries all hit for six, although Stirling did have a slice of luck with the fourth as the ball was caught by Matt Kelly on the deep square-leg boundary, but the Australian then fell the wrong side of the rope.

The Irishman failed to hit the magical six sixes as the final delivery was edged for four, but it was still a painful moment for Sales as he was dispatched for 34 from six balls, meaning he ended with figures of none for 42 from his two overs.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

All the Steelbacks players made a point of rallying round Sales on the field at the time, and after the game Sadler did likewise.

Asked about Sales, the head coach said: "He is alright, and he is a character that will learn from this, I have no doubt.

"He will come back stronger.

"We will remind him of this one day when he is getting man-of--the-match awards and is at the top of his game.

"It is character building, and it is tough, and I actually don't know if he will ever find it as tough as that again.

"Bowling with a greasy ball on a pitch that skids on with two batters set, and somebody having a day out like Stirlo did.

"Salesy is a good character and he is going to be a very, very good cricketer, we know that. He will learn from this, so it is all good."

Sales and Northants don't have much time to feel sorry for themselves either, as the Steelbacks are back in action on Friday night when they host Durham at the County Ground (start 6.30pm).

Sadler does have the scope to make changes, with Graeme White, Brandon Glover and leg-spinner Alex Russell, missing out at Edgbaston, but he says he won't 'panic' after one bad night.

"The beauty of T20 is that it comes thick and fast, so we can't dwell on it too much," said the head coach. "We go out on Friday and we start again.

"We planned well, we prepped well (for the Bears), but we just didn't quite perform, but that doesn't mean we can't bounce back with a good performance.

"We are not going to panic. That was our best available team, we will stick by all the lads and come back Friday."