White delighted as 'ruthless' Steelbacks bowling attack keeps winning run going

Graeme White hailed the Steelbacks' 'ruthless' bowling unit as Birmingham Bears were swept aside in the Vitality T20 Blast at the County Ground on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 10:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 11:01 pm
Job done... the Northants Steelbacks players celebrate their win over Birmingham Bears

Steelbacks' unbeaten start to the campaign looked to be under threat when they posted a modest looking 158 for seven in their 20 overs.

But it proved to more than enough as the Bears were blown away, suffering a batting collapse as they slumped from 26 without loss after three overs to 120 all out with one ball of the innings remaining.

Nathan Buck (2-15) started the rot, bowling a double wicket maiden to get rid of openers Ian Bell and Ed Pollock, and then White (2-28), Ben Sanderson (3-11), Brandon Glover (2-32) and the other bowlers strangled the life out of the visitors to do the rest.

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White chipped in with the crucial wickets of Adam Hose and Bears skipper Will Rhodes, with both players comprehensively bowled.

The win means the the Steelbacks stay top of the Central Group with seven points out of a possible eight, four points clear of second-placed Somerset, and White praised the efforts of his fellow bowlers.

"We have been happy with how we have gone about our bowling and fielding, but it has not all come together as much in one game as it did tonight," said the left-arm spinner.

"We knew we had it in the locker and we knew we weren't far off it, and at halfway, we knew if we bowled anything like we have been doing then that was going to be good enough.

Graeme White enjoys the dismissal of Adam Hose with team-mate Gareth Berg

"At the interval we talked about our mix-ups, our changes of pace, and when the slower bowlers came on there was a bit of spin, which was nice because usually it doesn't do much of that here!

"We wanted to use all of that to our advantage and make it difficult for them, and I thought we were brilliant, we worked well in partnerships and were very ruthless towards the end there."

White also played a key role with the bat, as he and Buck both hit sixes off the final over the the Steelbacks innings, bowled by young pace bowler Henry Brookes.

That over went for 16 to boost the County total to 158, and White admitted it was crucial to setting a challenging total for the Bears.

Ben Sanderson and Nathan Buck enjoy the Steelbacks win

"I think we maybe wanted a few more runs, and what we got was about par," said White.

"From being out there we realised it was pretty tricky with the slower bowlers and it wasn't going to be an easy total if we could get up to about 150.

"When I came out I think we were about 115, and I said to Saif (Zaib) and then Nathan when he came out that if we got it to 150, then with the group of bowlers we have here, if three-quarters of us perform we'll be able to keep them under that score.

"I was slightly more confident than probably a lot of people in between innings, but yeah I thought 150 was competitive with how the wicket was playing."

Gareth Berg shows his delight after claiming the key wicket of Tim Bresnan

And on that 16-run final over, White said: "They have got some very good bowlers and it was about trying to get a bit lucky with the ball, and try and hit it in areas where you are strong.

"It was just about getting bat on ball, get something on it and use the pace to look for pockets and get our total to a competitive score, and that's what we did."