Same again as Steelbacks face Somerset

Northamptonshire County Cricket Club.
Northamptonshire County Cricket Club.

The changes made for the Steelbacks’ Friends Life t20 encounter with Worcestershire at the weekend will remain in place for this evening’s outing against group leaders Somerset under the County Ground floodlights.

A reshuffled top order was sent out to face the Royals in the wake of three consecutive defeats and although that losing run continued, head coach David Capel feels the new line-up needs to be given the time to show what it can do.

From the top five that faced Gloucestershire on Friday evening, only Cameron White remained in the same place (number four) with Chaminda Vaas moved up to open with Kyle Coetzer, AlexWwakely shifted to three and Rob White dropped to five.

That meant no place for Rob Newton who was the man to miss out and Capel said that a point had been reached where change was the only option.

He said: “We will have some continuity in what we’re doing.

“Sometimes you have to make changes and it simply wasn’t working at the top of the order.

“You can’t chop and change all of the time but if you leave things as they are and they aren’t working then you can’t expect to get different results.

“We will be continuing with Chaminda (Vaas) and Kyle (Coetzer) at the top.

“They’ve both done it before with some success, Chaminda moving up to open was one of the raesons we reached the quarter-finals two years ago, and Kyle has shown a couple of times already that he can play well against the new ball.

“So they will stay there and Alex (Wakely) will continue at number three. He didn’t get going against Worcestershire but we’ve got plenty of faith in him.

“And Cameron (White) has been excellent at four and I like the look of (Rob) White at five.”

With both Andrew Hall and David Sales on the sidelines with calf and hamstring injuires respectively, the Steelbacks’ 20-over plans have been disrupted to some degree but Capel doesn’t want that to be an excuse for their poor form.

He added: “It was bad timing for us to lose them but these things happen.

“We’ve had a bit of bad luck in the past with key players missing and it’s happened again but it’s one of things that is sometimes thrown at you and you’ve got to deal with it.”

One ray of sunshine among the gloom on Saturday was the performance of Ollie Stone.

Stone, who took the new ball in place of Jack Brooks who missed out with an Achilles problem, bowled his four overs for just 26 and collected the wickets of Vikram Solanki and Darryl Mitchell and Capel was delighted with what the youngster brought to the table.

He continued: “It was good to see him entrusted with the responsibility of bowling at the end.

“That’s not an easy thing to do but he did it well and he’s getting better with every performance.”