Sadler rues sluggish batting display as Steelbacks' One Day Cup hopes hang in the balance

John Sadler admitted Nothants 'never got going' with the bat as they suffered a damaging 24-run defeat to Warwickshire at Edgbaston on Friday.
Northants head coach John Sadler (Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images)Northants head coach John Sadler (Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images)
Northants head coach John Sadler (Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images)

And he also explained the reasoning behind in-form big-hitter Tom Taylor coming in at number four for the 10-over thrash in Birmingham.

In a game reduced to just 60 balls per side due to persistent rainfall earlier in the day, the Steelbacks came up well short chasing the home side's 104 for three, closing on a disappointing 80 for six.

The in-form Taylor was again the team's top scorer with 29 from just 14 balls, but he didn't get to the crease until Northants were 38 for two in the sixth over and with the game nearly up.

Opener Ricardo Vasconcelos (eight from 13 balls) and number three Emilio Gay (eight from 15 balls) both struggled badly for any fluency, with neither player even hitting a four as they ate up almost a third of the innings for their 16 runs.

So should Taylor, the only form batter in the first team squad at the moment, have come in higher up the order?

Sadler explained why that didn't happen, pointing to the fact the match was played on the far edge of the Edgbaston square, meaning one of the boundaries was very short.

"There was a lot of discussions about where Tom Taylor should bat in the order," said the head coach.

"We tried to get him in early but we also felt that having a left-hand, right-hand partnership at the crease was a massive part of the game with that short boundary.

"Tom's in great form and was going to go in at three but the left-hander got out first so he ended up going in at four.

"You can have all the best-laid plans, and sometimes they come off, sometimes they don't."

And he added: "At the halfway stage we were in quite a strong position and we fancied it.

"You never quite know with a 10-over game, one good over or one bad over with either bat or ball can sway it.

"Chasing 105, on another day we'll knock them off but we never quite got going.

"We didn't quite have that big over at any point that would have put us up with the rate or in front of the rate.

"We were always just slightly behind and it's always difficult catching up in such a short game."

And expanding on why the decision was made to go with the left and right-hand combination, he added: "That (the short boundary) was a big factor for us, certainly with the bat and we particularly went with left and right handers throughout.

"That was why the order was a bit random, all the lads were up there ready to go at any point. We probably got drawn into that a little bit, but it is easy from the sidelines.

"The issue was that big over never came so we were always behind the eight ball, but credit to how Warwickshire bowled."

The defeat left the Steelbacks in fourth place in Group B, four points adrift of second and third-placed Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

Northants entertain Derbyshire on Sunday (start 11am) and then travel to Glamorgan on Tuesday, and must now win both of their remaining Group B matches to stand a chance of finishing in the top three and progressing to the knockout stages.

Even that may not be enough though, as they also require one of Gloucester and Worcester to lose their final group games.