Shell-shocked Ripley says Steelbacks have to 'take responsibilty' for batting nightmare
A shell-shocked David Ripley admitted he was at a loss to explain his team's batting performance in the 55-run Vitalty T20 Blast defeat to Birmingham Bears at the County Ground on Tuesday night.
Chasing 171 to win, the Steelbacks were reasonably well set at 65 for two in the ninth over, but then incredibly proceeded to lose seven wickets for just 17 runs as they slumped to 89 for nine.
A late rally from Nathan Buck, who hit 26 not out, raised the score to something approaching respectability at 115 all out, but the startling surrender ensured the Steelbacks slumped to their third straight defeat.
Asked if he had ever seen a collapse like it in T20 cricket, Ripley said: "No, and it is not going to be winning you any cricket matches in any format is it?
"We can talk about how we might analyse that, and we have briefly talked about it, but I just think you can't over-analyse 17 for seven in a T20 game.
"We just have to move on, we have to be better, we have to take responsibility for a poor night and try and come back punching in our next game on Thursday night."
Ricardo Vasconcelos top scored with 36 for the Steelbacks, while for the Bears Jake Lintott took four for 20 with his unorthodox left-arm spin.
The Steelbacks actually bowled okay, with Graeme White taking one for 19 to move up to third place in the club's list of all-time wicket-takers in T20 cricket.
But it wasn't a night for clutching at positives, and Ripley admitted: "The lads are as disappointed as I am, and I am disappointed to hear our supporters having to cheer us for reaching 100.
"They are trying to keep us in a good mood, but we want them cheering us over the line to win some games.
"I am frustrated that we are not showing them what a good team we are, but the good news is there is still 11 games to go.
"We were in this position in 2015 and we reached the final, and we have to believe we can still do that.
The Steelbacks currently sit bottom of the North Group and now face a double header on the road at Derbyshire on Thursday and Worcester on Friday.