Northamptonshire Steelbacks Captain Kyle Coetzer still believes his side can still qualify from their NatWest T20 Blast Group despite Friday night’s defeat to Lancashire Lightning at the Emirates Old Trafford.
Lancashire Lightning won the toss and elected to bat first at the Emirates Old Trafford and the visitors made the perfect start as David Willey struck in the first over. Ashwell Prince and Karl Brown put on a second wicket partnership worth 90 before James Middlebrook struck twice in two balls to reduce the home side to 99-3. It was then the Jos Butler show with the England man striking three huge sixes as he hit 58* off just 26 balls as the home side posted 187-3.
The Steelbacks, chasing 188 to win made a disastrous start to their innings as the visitors lost both Richard Levi (2) and David Willey (1) in the first two overs. David Sales (25), Rob Keogh (28 and Matthew Spriegel (32) all contributed well with the bat but the Steebacks were always well short of the target set by their hosts.
Captain Coetzer speaking to northantscricket.com after the game said “The boys are obviously gutted at the moment, but we’ll get our heads up again, and we will look to gain momentum and push for that much needed victory. We need to put this behind us and move on”.
The Scottish batsman added “Fair play to Lancashire and in particular Jos Butler – I thought his innings was outstanding and was the difference between the sides”.
The Captain was ruled out just before the game after tweaking his hamstring, which will also see him side-lined for Sundays LV= County Championship game against the same opposition, starting on Sunday. Coetzer said “it’s not a serious injury and I won’t be involved Sundays Championship game, but I’m confident I’ll be fit for the next T20 game at The County Ground against Durham.”
The Captain encouraged the club’s supporters to come out in force for that game, adding “We really need the backing of our supporters, and a full County Ground will certainly help achieve that vital win against Durham. If we are realistic about making the quarter final, we need all the support we can get and the atmosphere at the ground when it’s full is absolutely brilliant”.
He finished by reiterating “there is a long way to go in the competition and on our day, we know that we can beat any team in the country which we proved that last season. There is still a lot to play for!”
Matthew Spriegel speaking after the game said “the mood is how you’d expect it to be right now – we’re pretty down about it tonight. No one enjoys losing in professional sport because that’s not what you live for – winning games of cricket and feeling how we felt last year is what it’s all about”.
The 27 year old said that “This year we started well but we’ve lost momentum over the last couple of weeks which is disappointing. T20 cricket is such a momentum sport and we’re on the bad side of it at the moment. We are working hard to change that though”.
The all-rounder added that “It was a good wicket but it was never a 190 pitch. Butler and Croft put together a terrific partnership that we just couldn’t stop and they just ended up getting away from us. I think if we could have restricted them to 165, I would have fancied us.”