Sadler demands big improvement as Steelbacks face must-win clash against unbeaten Somerset

Coach John Sadler is demanding a vast improvement from the Steelbacks as they look to keep their fading Royal London One Day qualification hopes alive against Somerset at the County Ground on Sunday (start 11am).

By Jeremy Casey
Saturday, 7th August 2021, 10:16 am
Northants Steelbacks coach John Sadler
Northants Steelbacks coach John Sadler

An experienced Northants team suffered a humbling 134-run defeat against a young Warwickshire outfit at Edgbaston on Friday, leaving their Group B top three hopes hanging by a thread.

With three matches remaining, the Steelbacks are down in seventh, four points off the top two, and two points off third-placed Warwickshire, who have played a game more.

They have tasted victory just once in the competition and have now entered must-win territory as they host second-placed Somerset on Sunday.

Sign up to our daily Daventry Express Today newsletter

And a disappointed Sadler has told his players they simply have to perform better than they did in Birmingham.

First, in a match reduced to 46 overs per side, the home team recovered from being 11 for two to post a challenging 278 for six.

Then with the bat, the Steelbacks offered little resistance as they slumped to 56 for five before stumbling to 144 for nine in 33.4 overs, with Charlie Thurston having retire hurt after top edging an attempted sweep on to his chin.

Tom Taylor's unbeaten 57 from 65 balls was the only high point as the top order failed to deliver again.

“It was a very poor day, badly disappointing," said Sadler.

"We are a better side than we showed which is the frustrating thing.

"Teams are scoring more runs at the end of an innings than they should do and yes, our death bowling has to be sharpened up but, make no mistake, it was the batting that let us down in this game.

"The par score out there, we thought was around 260, maybe 250, but we felt we could still chase 280.

"Both games we’ve now lost in this competition this year were because we were three down early on and you don’t often come back from that.

"In this case, three down, four down, five down.

"Warwickshire’s young side did the basics right; we were very disappointing. It's as easily summed up as that, really."

Somerset arrive in Northampton as the only unbeaten team in either Group A or B, having won three times and had two fixtures rained off.