Ravi Bopara looked in good form as he took a hat-trick and made 66 from 35 in a comprehensive 152 run victory for the 2XI against Cardiff UCCE yesterday.

As T20 preparations ramp up, Captain David Willey, Ravi Bopara and George Scrimshaw were all involved as they look forward to Northamptonshire’s first Vitality Blast fixture next Thursday.

Northamptonshire elected to bat first with George Hargrave and Gus Miller opening up.

The pair got off to a strong start, bringing up the 50 partnership in 37 deliveries. However, Hargrave fell early in the seventh over for 25 off 20.

Willey was in next but it was Gus Miller who began to raise the scoring as he struck 48 from 35 including four 4s and two 6s.

Gus played beautifully but was removed just shy of his half century and Ravi Bopara was in at four.

Willey and Bopara began to increase the rate as they reached a fifty partnership in 28 deliveries and Northamptonshire were 147/2 at the end of the 16th over.

Willey fell for 35 but Bopara continued his rapid scoring, hitting five 4s and four 6s on his way to an unbeaten 66 from 35.

The 2XI finished on 205/4 at the end of their 20 overs and set Cardiff UCCE a difficult task to chase the score.

Willey opened the bowling and started with a wicket maiden, bowling Willis third ball. Saif Zaib struck early on in the second over and Cardiff UCCE were 0/2.

The T20 captain struck again with another wicket maiden in the third over, leaving Cardiff UCCE 4/3. By the end of the powerplay Cardiff were 16/4 as James Sales bowled Bevans.

Freddie Heldreich took a simple caught and bowled in 9th over and at the halfway mark it was 38/5.

The 12th over four wickets fall without a single run being scored. Bopara texpertly took a hat-trick in the first three balls of the over and then with the fifth ball James Sales run out Cole with a direct hit with a brilliant direct hit.

Heldreich wrapped up the innings when he bowled Hameed and Cardiff finished all out for 53, a defeat by 152 runs.