More frustration for the Steelbacks as rain ruins One Day Cup clash at Surrey

Northants Steelbacks are still looking for their first Royal London One Day Cup win of the summer after a second successive washout.

By Mark Baldwin
Friday, 30th July 2021, 5:45 pm
Updated Friday, 30th July 2021, 5:46 pm
Rain was the only winner as Northants Steelbacks' clash at the Kia Oval against Surrey was abandoned after just 5.3 overs
Rain was the only winner as Northants Steelbacks' clash at the Kia Oval against Surrey was abandoned after just 5.3 overs

Two days after the clash against Scarborough was ruined by rain, it was a similar story at the Kia Oval on Friday.

Only 5.3 overs were possible before the Group B match was abandoned due to regular bursts of heavy showers.

Morning rain meant play did not begin until 1.15pm, with the contest initially reduced to 34 overs per side, and Northants scored 31 for one wicket before more rain drove the players off at 1.40pm.

Surrey's Conor McKerr celebrates as Ricardo Vasconcelos is caught on the third man boundary

All that then followed for a sizeable crowd of more than 3,000 was a long afternoon of frustration as the Oval groundstaff worked hard between the showers to make conditions fit for a resumption.

A 4pm inspection did result in the umpires, Ian Blackwell and James Middlebrook, announcing that a 10-over game could begin at 5.20pm but – minutes later – more heavy rain swept in to confirm the no result, with both teams taking one point.

Steelbacks skipper Ricardo Vasconcelos who produced two sumptuous extra cover driven fours off Rikki Clarke and Matt Dunn, was the Northants wicket to fall – well-held above his head at third man by Dan Moriarty for 17 after the left-handed opener deliberately uppercut Conor McKerr’s fourth ball in the fifth over.

Emilio Gay remained eight not out, having been badly dropped at mid on by McKerr off Dunn from the final ball before the rain came again, and Ben Curran had faced just two balls.

The ground staff were kept busy at the Kia Oval, but the rain had the final say

Northants, still looking for their first group stage win after the two no results and one defeat from their first three fixtures, are next at home to Derbyshire on Sunday (start 11am).

Friday's other matches in Group B were also ruined by the weather, so the Steelbacks remain second bottom in the table.

With five matches to play, they are three points off the top three of Surrey, Glamorgan and Somerset who all have five points.