Head coach Sadler backing Northants batters to click into gear

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Head coach John Sadler is backing the Northants batting line-up to shake off its early season struggles and click into top gear.

And he insists the players and coaching staff are 'working hard at it' and 'putting in the hours' to ensure that is the case.

After a truncated first day of their current LV= Insurance County Championship clash with Somerset, Northants will go into today's second day at Taunton on 137 for four.

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Ricardo Vasconcelos was the star of the show on a dark, damp and miserable day in the south west, scoring a fluent 70 from 103 balls to register his first half-century of the season.

Ricardo Vasconcelos scored an excellent 70 in testing conditions against Somerset at Taunton on ThursdayRicardo Vasconcelos scored an excellent 70 in testing conditions against Somerset at Taunton on Thursday
Ricardo Vasconcelos scored an excellent 70 in testing conditions against Somerset at Taunton on Thursday

Three late wickets in very testing conditions under the floodlights saw the County slip from a promising 113 for one, and it means there is still work to do when play resumes for the remaining batters to put together the 113 needed for a first batting point of the season.

Rob Keogh and James Sales are not out overnight, and Sadler will be hoping for some better weather and for the pair to dig in and lay the foundations for a sizeable total that will see them hit that 250-run mark and beyond so the pressure can be put on Somerset.

It has been a difficult start to the season, with the County having so far been bowled out for scores of 117, 198, 149 and 63, with the one standout total the 331 all out made in the second innings in the loss at Kent, with Keogh making 116 - to date the only century made this season.

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Ahead of the Somerset encounter, Sadler was asked if he is worried about the team's batting form, and he said: "We are the only team without a batting point so far, so there is a little bit (of concern) there.

"But it is very early, and we have played on some wickets that haven't been too batter friendly. We have spoken about it, and it is in our thoughts as coaches.

"Some of the batters have looked in great touch but not got the results yet, while a couple of guys have put in good performances, Keyesy being the standout so far.

"We have had some starts, but we have not gone on and got those big scores, but as a collective it is an area we know we have to improve on and turn it round pretty quick.

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"I am not really a panicker to be honest, and I don't think panicking does anybody any good.

"But there comes a point where we will have to address it somehow, but the lads are working hard at it.

"And as long as they are working hard and the plans are in place, we are talking, we are having discussions and they are putting in the hours behind the scenes, as long as all those boxes are being ticked, then we can sleep easy.

"It would be a different game if the lads weren't training or weren't doing the work.

"But we are putting in the hours, we are training hard and we are putting in the work, and I am sure it will turn around."