Steelbacks survive Kettleborough onslaught to claim win at Bedfordshire

Northants Steelbacks warmed up for their Royal London One Day Cup with a narrow seven-run win over Bedfordshire at Dunstable Town on Sunday.

By Jeremy Casey
Monday, 1st August 2022, 10:54 am
James Kettleborough in action for Northants in 2014
James Kettleborough in action for Northants in 2014

But they were given a real fright thanks to a stunning innings from former County man James Kettleborough.

The Steelbacks, who begin their Royal London campaign on Tuesday with a trip to York to play Yorkshire Vikings, rested the likes of Will Young, Luke Procter, Ben Sanderson, Tom Taylor, Simon Kerrigan and Jack White.

It was still a strong side though, and Lewis McManus led the way with the bat, stroking a superb 109 from 103 balls as they posted 319 for eight in their 50 overs.

Also making valuable contributions were Emilio Gay and Saif Zaib, who both scored 62, and James Sales with 46.

Ricardo Vasconcelos (2) and Rob Keogh (2) both missed out though.

Bedfordshire were then reduced to 113 for six in reply before Kettleborough launched an astonishing counter-attack, hammering an incredible 192 not out from 149 balls hitting 19 fours and three sixes.

The 29-year-old, who made nine first-class appearances for Northants in 2014, had his former employers on the rack and very nearly took Bedfordshire to a remarkable victory.

Lewis McManus hit 109 for Northants Steelbacks against Bedfordshire

The Steelbacks' attack was hit by a hand injury to fast bowler Brandon Glover which meant he didn't bowl a ball, while James Sales was only able to get through four overs early on.

That left seamer Gay being given the responsibility of bowling the final over, with Bedfordshire needing 18 to win, and they fell short despite Kettleborough's efforts.

Leg-spinner Alex Russell was the pick of the attack, taking four for 66, while Nathan Buck took two for 44 and Zaib two for 59.

Yorkshire warmed up for their meeting with Northants by beating Northumberland by 148 runs at Gosforth.

In a match reduced to 23 overs per side, the White Rose made a whopping 290 for five with former England man Gary Ballance hitting 95 from just 25 balls!

Ballance thrashed 11 sixes and four fours, while Harry Duke added 88 from 37 balls, striking 11 fours and five sixes.

Northumberland were then restricted to 173 for eight, with Matthew Waite claiming three for 16.