Skipper Wakely urges Steelbacks to finish the job

Alex Wakely feels the Steelbacks should be proud of where they sit in the NatWest T20 Blast North Group.

Monday, 14th August 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:01 pm
Alex Wakely wants the Steelbacks to secure their quarter-final spot this week (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

But the skipper has now urged his side to finish the job of securing a quarter-final spot this week.

The third-placed Steelbacks travel to Yorkshire Vikings on Thursday night before concluding their group stage campaign with a home game against bottom side Durham Jets.

Wakely and Co were beaten by 48 runs at home to Leicestershire Foxes last Friday and now face a fight to finish in the top four.

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But they can be happy with how things have gone overall, especially given the amount of injuries they have been forced to deal with in recent weeks.

"You look at finals day last year and we still managed to scrape through after losing three wickets because we batted deeper, but we haven't quite got that luxury at the moment," Wakely said.

"Fingers crossed Cobby (Josh Cobb) can come back for us this week and maybe Graeme White.

"Considering we've had key personnel injured, we should be really proud of where we are in the table.

"But we need that quarter-final spot because that's what we've done over the past few years and that's what we're good at."

With Cobb having suffered a hand injury in a win at Leicestershire last month, the Steelbacks' batting department has been stretched.

Despite a good partnership between Wakely and Adam Rossington, they could only make it to 145 for seven in reply to the Foxes' 193 for five last Friday.

But Cobb, who was the Steelbacks' match-winner in last year's T20 final, is due back against Yorkshire at Headingley.

"We have probably been a batsman short," Wakely admitted.

"Me and Rosso knew we had to take it deep last Friday because if we had another batsman maybe it's me that can take a bit of a risk earlier.

"But it's small margins in T20 because if the one I hit that got caught goes for six, the momentum's going.

"We needed me and Rosso to bat for longer because we're without Cobby.

"We've been very lucky over the last few years that we've batted deep with guys smashing sixes all the way down the order, but we haven't quite got that so the onus has been on the top-order and last Friday it didn't really fire."