Ripley frustrated as Steelbacks victory bid is cut short

FRUSTRATED - David RipleyFRUSTRATED - David Ripley
FRUSTRATED - David Ripley
Steelbacks coach David Ripley said he was frustrated at the abandonment of the Natwest t20 Blast clash at Leicestershire Foxes on Friday night - but admitted he understood the umpires’ decision to call the game off.

Foxes were 25 for two chasing 101 to win when Nick Cook and Jeff Evans decided conditions had become too dangerous.

The match had earlier been interrupted by 90 minutes for a rain break and been reduced to 11 overs a side, with the light poor throughout the Northants innings, as well as the truncated Foxes one.

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Just 11 more balls were needed to be bowled for a result to be possible under the Duckworth/Lewis method, but after Mohamed Azharullah clean bowled Kevin O’Brien with a fast and straight delivery, the umpires took the players off for bad light, before abandoning the match 20 minutes later.

“It is frustrating,” said Ripley. “To get within 11 balls of a result, and I think the wicket (Azharullah bowling Kevin O’Brien) had just edged the game our way.

“But there is no doubt it was dark.

“It was wet, it was dark, it wasn’t summer T20 cricket as we like to think of it.

“I do understand the umpires coming off, as I don’t think it was fit for cricket at the end there.

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“Our frustration is that with them needing 17 runs off 11 balls, with a new guy coming in and the powerplay over, I felt we were just ahead and if we get those 11 balls in I think we would have been ahead and would have won.

“But it was a difficult night for the umpires, no doubt.”

The Steelbacks players were clearly unhappy with the decision to go off, and remonstrated with the umpires out in the middle, but Ripley admitted they had calmed down once they had got back into the dressing room.

“The players are frustrated, but there was a feeling that it was dark,” said the Steelbacks coach.

“The players were struggling to pick up the ball and it was still quite wet underfoot from the rain we had, so it wasn’t ideal.

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“Whether or not hanging out there for another 11 balls would have broke the camel’s back I’m not sure. That’s our frustration.”

The Steelbacks, who were hoping to make it two wins in a row following Thursday’s defeat of Derbyshire, are back in T20 action on Sunday when they travel to Headingley to take on Yorkshire.