Head coach David Ripley says he is ‘very proud’ of his Northants players after they came so close to a stunning success at Trent Bridge.
The Steelbacks were eventually beaten by 20 runs after an incredible run chase that saw them edge towards Nottinghamshire’s 445 for eight in the 50-over clash.
Rory Kleinveldt registered a simply sensational 128 from just 63 balls and Adam Rossington hit 97 from 69, but Northants just could not quite reach their target.
Nevetheless, Ripley felt nothing but pride after seeing the Steelbacks show such spirit in their Royal London One-Day Cup opener.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Ripley said. “It obviously wasn’t a game for the bowlers.
“It was a great run chase from us and I don’t think I’ve come across such a dangerous score that’s been put in front of us and come so close.
“We’re very proud of the way we chased.
“There are areas with the ball that we need to dig a bit deeper, but not tonight because we’re just proud of our efforts and a lot of guys put a lot of work in to get us within touching distance of that target.
“But, realistically, we don’t want to be going for 450 every week so we’ve got to look at way in which we can contain when guys are coming hard.
“It was just a phenomenal game of cricket.
“We’re very proud, we’re hurting a bit but we’ll take a lot of heart into the next game.”
To add to the pain of defeat, the Steelbacks appear to have picked up some costly injuries.
Kleinveldt injured his side while batting after earlier damaging his calf, while Richard Levi batted at 11 after injuring his shoulder.
Those two men appear likely to miss the next Royal London One-Day Cup clash, with Lancashire at the County Ground, on Wednesday.
Olly Stone, who damaged his knee in last Friday’s NatWest T20 Blast game against Worcestershire Rapids is set to hand the Steelbacks an even bigger blow, with the club set to reveal the length of his absence on Tuesday.
“Rory went in the side and I think if that hadn’t happened, he would have got us to the victory total,” Ripley said.
“He was really determined to get us the win, but it wasn’t only his calf, his side was hurting as well. He couldn’t swing as fully as he wanted.
“We’re a bit walking wounded, which is a bit of a concern.
“We’ve got Olly out, we might have Rich out, we might have Rory out and we’ve got to dig deep and see what we can come up with on Wednesday.”