Expectations high following four-day clash
NORTHANTS travel to Derbyshire for the second time this month, although their clash in the One-Day Cup will do well to match the drama of their County Championship fixture.
The four-day match on Easter weekend looked set to peter out into a draw, only for the two captains to make an effort to force a result on the final day. It paid off spectacularly for Northants, who chased down 326 with one delivery to spare thanks to a six from Rory Kleinveldt, a man who thrived in the 50-over format last season.
The big South African blasted 128 off just 63 balls against Notts in the group stage and struck an unbeaten 76 in the quarterfinal against Surrey, which Northants lost by one wicket.
Their campaign starts a lot earlier this time, but head coach David Ripley has no problem with the change.
He said: “The wickets may nibble a bit more than we’d like but when we’ve played it later in the season, some of the pitches were a bit tired and the ball has gripped a bit and spin has come into play.
“There haven’t been massive scores – we had that game at Notts but no-one was really piling on past 300, so it will be interesting to see how the new schedule plays out.”
Meanwhile, Derbyshire – who got their one-day campaign underway at Durham yesterday – are hoping to kick-start their season after back-to-back Championship losses.