Victory a must at Edgbaston if Steelbacks are to qualify

David Willey could return to the Steelbacks side for the trip to Edgbaston
David Willey could return to the Steelbacks side for the trip to Edgbaston

Northamptonshire go into their final Yorkshire Bank 40 game knowing that nothing less than a win will suffice.

The Steelbacks are lying second in Group A, one point behind leaders Nottinghamshire, and travel to face Warwickshire with a semi-final place still a possibility.

With only one of three group runners-up going through to the last four and none of the three groups decided as of yet, it is all up in the air with numerous scenarios possible.

Alex Wakely’s side could yet qualify as group winners if they triumph and Notts lose to Kent and the situation is similar in the other groups.

In Group B, Hampshire are on top with 16 points and face Derbyshire in the final round of fixtures while Lancashrie, who are one point in arrears, host Essex.

In Group C, any two of three could go through to the knockout round with Somerset, Gloucestershire and Glamorgan all in the hunt.

Somerset, who lead the standing on run-rate, travel to Bristol on Monday for what looks like being a winner-takes-all encounter but the loser could still qualify depending on results elsewhere.

Glamorgan remain in contention but they will need to win one of their two remaining games, against Leicestershire this afternoon (Sunday) and at Yorkshire 24 hours later.

For the Steelbacks, a decision will need to be made regarding the fitness of David Willey who still has a lingering shoulder problem.

Willey didn’t play in the third of England Lions’ games against Bangladesh A on Saturday and will be required for the LV= County Championship clash with Glamorgan that starts on Wednesday.

Other than Willey and Kyle Coetzer, who missed last week’s four-day game with Essex due to a wrist injury, they will have a strong squad to select from with conditions dictating whether an extra seamer is preferred to a second spinner.

Cameron White has returned to Australia and his place could be taken by Trent Copeland who has returned for a short second stint in the overseas role.

Steelbacks from: Wakely, Coetzer, Sales, Duckett, Crook, Willey, Hall, Murphy, Middlebrook, Spriegel, Azharullah, Copeland, Daggett, Keogh,