Bottom two to do battle beside the seaside

David Willey is back in the four-day side for the trip to the south coast
David Willey is back in the four-day side for the trip to the south coast
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Fresh from a battling draw at Lord’s, Northamptonshire are on the road again this weekend in the LV= County Championship as they head to the south coast and Hove to face Sussex.

The County are still marooned at the foot of the Division One standings, 67 points from safety and 60 behind their nearest rivals.

That unenviable honour is currently in the hands of tomorrow’s (Sunday) opponents who, after starting the season with two straight victories, have dropped away significantly.

While the mathematics say so, the County have a chance of avoiding the drop and beating the side immediately above them, who they still have to play twice, would be a very good way to start.

Head coach David Ripley said: “We can certainly be competitive against them.

“They’ve not won for quite a while and have their two international players, (Chris) Jordan and (Matt) Prior, out of the side so it’s a good time to play them.”

As for how the visitors can put a positive number in the win column, Ripley knows a performance that is stronger for longer is a must.

He added: “We need to play better for longer of we are to get the win we need.

“We showed good resilience and fought hard for our draw but if we’re going to start winninbg in this division we need to be good for all four days.

“We started poorly at Lord’s and were then playing catch up a bit and we have to cut that sort of thing out.”

As for team news, David Willey, who was rested for the Middlesex clash, comes back into the fold, as does Kyle Coetzer who replaces the injured Rob Keogh in the squad.

Muhammad Azharullah is rested so Olly Stone could be included.

Northants from: Peters, Middlebrook, Kettleborough, Spriegel, Newton, Duckett, Hall, Coetzer, Chambers, Stone, Willey, Crook, White