Alex Wakely says that the Steelbacks have to use the Vitality Blast win over Derbyshire Falcons as a springboard for more confident performances until the end of the season.

The Steelbacks had a dominant evening in Derby with both bat and ball. The bowlers controlled the powerplay and took crucial wickets in the final quarter of the Falcons’ innings, while the batsmen saw off the 178-run chase with 10 balls to spare.

Ricardo Vasconcelos and Ben Duckett got the run rate up early before Josh Cobb took over with a 73-run knock in 37 balls. 

Wakely kept his wicket intact with a sensible innings, but after a frustrating two thirds of the Vitality Blast campaign he had understandable mixed emotions.

“It was the first time we’ve put in a full performance,” he told BBC Radio Northampton. “Today was the way Northants want to play cricket. We want to attack with the ball early on and take a few wickets, put the squeeze on in the middle and then bowl well at the death, before chasing the runs down.

“Winning is a great feeling and one that we’ve been used to over the past few years, and this year it couldn’t have been further from that. If we’d have beaten Leicestershire in the first game then things could have been very different and now we’re looking back thinking what might have been.

“Sometimes Twenty20 can be over-complicated. You’ve just go to play without fear. As soon as you start putting yourself under pressure the game becomes difficult. I want us to play with freedom, but with the results that we’ve had naturally you don’t have that confidence. You’re not quite on it, you’re a fraction of a second behind where you want to be.

“Tonight for the first time the shackles were off; it was like we went out there to enjoy it and played with a smile on our faces. It was the first time that we’ve sung the team song in a while – some of the lads had forgotten the words!

“There’s still quite a lot of cricket to be played in general, not just in the T20, and if we can get some momentum from the last few games in this competition into the County Championship then there’s still a lot to play for.”

The Steelbacks return home on Friday to play Durham Jets under the lights at the County Ground. Play starts at 6:30pm and by booking in advance you can save cash compared to the standard match day prices.

CLICK HERE to book online!