Big hitting from Gus Miller (69 from 37 and 55 from 24) took Northamptonshire 2XI to two convincing wins over Worcestershire 2XI at Overstone Park.

Miller hit eight 4s and nine 6s across the two games as Northamptonshire won comfortably by 78 and 92 runs respectively.

As Northamptonshire return to Vitality Blast action this weekend with two away trips to Leicestershire and Durham, a strong side was named in the 2XI.

In the first of the two T20’s, Worcestershire won the toss and chose to bowl first, with Steelbacks skipper David Willey opening up with Ricardo Vasconcelos.

The pair put on 18 runs in the opening 2 overs but Vasconcelos was dismissed with the second ball of the third over, miscuing one to midwicket.

In at 3, Ravi Bopara wasn’t able to make use of the powerplay as he was caught and bowled by Hinley for 3.

At the end of the powerplay, the 2XI were 34/2 with illey and Saif Zaib in the middle. Two overs later Zaib was bowled as he attempted to come down the track, leaving the 2XI 40/3.

Gus Miller came to the crease at 5 and started to put on a crucial partnership with Willey, as the latter brought up his half century in 41 balls, striking two 4s and five 6s.

The same over Miller reached his fifty, coming from 26 balls and with two 4s and four 6s. The pair put on a 98 run partnership from just 50 balls before Willey was removed for 57 off 45.

Gus was dismissed in the final over of the game for 69 (37) before Rob Keogh hit two of his three balls for six to guide the 2XI 184/5 after 20 overs.

In reply, Worcestershire lost three wickets in the powerplay as Willey bowled Kashif Ali and Jack White removed Rob Jones and Henry Cullen.

In the 8th over, Alex Russell beat the bat of the Olly Cox as he advanced down the track and gave Buchake a simple stumping. It was the same result two overs later as Russell removed Jake Libby in the same fashion and Worcestershire found themselves 48/5.

The batting side were always behind the rate and never caught up as Zaib, Keogh, Miller and Sales all picked up a wicket to reduce Worcestershire to 106/9 and a 78 run defeat.

Game 2 saw a very similar outcome with Northamptonshire putting on a competitive score up first and Worcestershire not being able to handle the Northamptonshire bowling attack.

However, it wasn’t always easy for the 2XI, as openers Emilio Gay and James Sales both fell to Daniel Lategan in the opening over.

Rob Keogh and George Bartlett steadied the ship with a 63 run partnership off 47. The pair put on 38 and 31 respectively to guide the 2XI away from a difficult start.

After both batters fell, Saif Zaib put on 30 from 22 before Gus Miller yet again showed some excellent power hitting, muscling four 4s and four 6s to reach an unbeaten 55 from 24 balls.

The 2XI reached the same score of 184/5 in both innings and Northamptonshire immediately made a breakthrough as George Bartlett opened the bowling.

Bartlett took a wicket with the first two balls of the innings, trapping Ed Pollock in front then dismissing Olly Cox as he was caught behind. Bartlett was unable to convert the hat-trick but did start with a double wicket maiden.

Northamptonshire continued with their impressive use of the ball as Freddie Heldreich took 3/13, Rob Keogh 2/14, while Alex Russell, Saif Zaib and James Sales took a wicket apiece to leave Worcestershire 92 all out and to wrap up a comprehensive 92 run victory.