Northamptonshire’s U18 squad have a chance to bring home T20 silverware for the first time after reaching the final of the U18 National T20 Cup.
The Academy squad have won the 50 over tournament for the last two years, along with the 3 day competition and now Academy Director Kevin Innes is keen to add the T20 trophy to the collection.
“To complete the collection of all three competitions would be great,” Innes said.
“We have almost punched above our weight over the last few years, so to get this over the line would mean a great deal to everyone involved.” He added.
Going into the tournament with high hopes, Northamptonshire suffered an early setback, losing heavily to Somerset in their first game after they were bowled out for 137.
The young squad had no time to dwell on the defeat though as they took on Worcestershire later the same day.
Northamptonshire limited Worcestershire to 135, the pick of the bowlers being Alex Cormack who claimed 2/21. The U18s managed to successfully chase down the target in the last over with Rohail Imman top scoring for the side, hitting a brilliant half century and seeing his side through to gain their first points in the tournament.
The following week, Northamptonshire visited Warwickshire to try and build on their first win of the competition.
Northamptonshire put Warwickshire into bat and it paid off as they bowled brilliantly to reduce the batting side to 109 all out. Sai and Rishabh were the pick of the bowlers as they produced figures of 2/17 and 3/13 respectively.
Rohail Imman impressed again with the bat for Northamptonshire as he posted an unbeaten 42 to give the side their second win in a row and second in the tournament.
Last week, Northamptonshire were on the road again as they played Gloucestershire and Cricket Wales at Cheltenham CC.
Northamptonshire came out on top against both sides, winning by 37 runs and 4 wickets respectively, taking them to the Finals Day which will be played on the 10th of September at Kibworth.
Imman and spinner Max Hunt were the pick of the players from the games, as Imman scored 61 not out against Cricket Wales and Hunt took 5 wickets across the two fixtures.
Kevin Innes believes that the resilience in the squad has played a huge role in their success.
“We had a poor start but we dusted ourselves down, stayed positive and have now reached the final.
“The way we have bowled and fielded has been a massive highlight to us as coaches and it has really brought everyone together.” Innes said.
“To have come this far and played against teams with bigger resources shows how much we have progressed as a squad.”
The 50 over competition starts on the 2nd July as Northamptonshire look to defend their title and become the first club to win the competition three years in a row. Should the side get through, the team will return to The County Ground in the second round on July 9th.