Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley has called on his side to build on Sunday’s victory in Nottinghamshire as they welcome Lancashire to Wantage Road on Wednesday in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
A difficult opening month of the season, with three defeats from four Specsavers County Championship matches, was followed by a batting collapse against Leicestershire to open the One-Day Cup with a loss. But Northants produced what Ripley called a “top response” with a 49-run win at Welbeck against the defending 50-over champions.
It was a fine all-round team performance that saw Ripley’s batsmen rack up their joint-fifth highest List A total of 339 for 9 to claim a first win in Nottinghamshire in any form of the game since 2003.
“Even if we had gone on to lose a tight game, we would still have gone home fairly pleased because the performance was much improved,” said Ripley. “Our batters took some criticism after the last game and there was some honest chat about where they were and I thought they dusted themselves off and played really well with most people contributing.
“The lads up front have got some licence to play some shots but the biggest area for me is when we come out of the Powerplay – assessing where are we and ensuring we don’t give any wickets away, we rotate the strike and we build a platform for the end.
“It’s a little bit of relief because we haven’t played our best cricket in the first month of the season and that becomes frustration and pressure loads on the next game so it was nice for us to play not far off our best game.”
Lancashire have enjoyed a good start to the competition with two totals over 300 and a thumping win over Durham following a narrow opening defeat to Notts.
“They look a good side,” said Ripley. “They have a mixture of experience and some good young players, so that’s going to be a tough game. They’ve used a lot of spin so far and batsmen have been scoring good runs for them.
“One win isn’t going to get us through of course so we need to back Sunday up. We can’t get too carried away but it’s the stature of the game against Notts and the nature of the performance that’s really pleasing. We have to build on this and continue to improve our performance.”