Ton-up Gay focusing on the positives despite Steelbacks' One Day Cup exit

Northants Steelbacks batter Emilio Gay hit a brilliant 131 in the defeat to LancashireNorthants Steelbacks batter Emilio Gay hit a brilliant 131 in the defeat to Lancashire
Northants Steelbacks batter Emilio Gay hit a brilliant 131 in the defeat to Lancashire
Emilio Gay is focusing on the positives after Northants Steelbacks' Royal London One Day Cup hopes were ended with a high-scoring four-wicket loss to Lancashire at Blackpool.

Gay hammered a superb 131 and fellow opener Ricardo Vasconcelos 104 as the Steelbacks posted 370 for four in the north west coast sunshine, the County's second highest ever List A total.

But it still wasn’t enough, as former England opener Keaton Jennings thrashed 125 from 105 balls and George Lavelle 61 not out from just 34 balls as Lancashire got home with 10 balls to spare.

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The defeat was Steelbacks' fifth in seven matches in the competition, and confirms they can no longer qualify for a top three finish and place in the knockout stages.

It was also a third defeat against Lancashire in three different formats for the County, having previously lost to them in the Vitality Blast and LV= Insurance County Championship.

The Steelbacks did win their home date with Lightning in the Blast, but the Red Rose have become something of a thorn in their side this summer.

"They have all been tight games with Lancashire this season and it’s disappointing to come out on the losing side," said Gay.

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"But it was a great game in front of a really good crowd and there are plenty of learnings for us to take from the match.

"Hopefully, next time we’re away at Lancashire we can come out on the winning side."

On his innings and his 198-run opening partnership with Vasconcelos, Gay said: "It was very satisfying to have a really good partnership with Ricardo, and I hope that will give us some momentum for the remainder of the red-ball season, even though it is a different format.

"This is a longer format and you get value for good cricket shots, especially on an outfield like this.

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"So I was looking to bat as I do in four-day cricket today, really, but with just a little more intent in the middle overs."

The Steelbacks wrap up their One Day Cup campaign on Tuesday (Aug 23) when they host Derbyshire, and they will then have a break until September 5 when they travel to the Ageas Bowl to take on Hampshire in the Championship.