David Ripley: Northants coach still hopeful of 'special season' after T20 exit

Adam Rossington
Northants failed to win any of their last three T20 Blast group games

Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley believes it could still be a "pretty special season" despite failing to reach the T20 Blast quarter-finals.

The holders, who also won the trophy in 2013, bowed out in the group stage despite six wins in 14 games.

Promotion in the County Championship, though, is still a possibility.

"We wanted to be in a position going into the last five games where we had something to play for, and we have," Ripley told BBC Radio Northampton.

"We'll be pushing hard to get ourselves in there with maybe two games to go, one game to go.

"I'm just looking forward to seeing us get stuck in and who knows, it could still be a pretty special season."

With two promotion places available again this summer, Northants are currently third, 15 points behind second-placed Worcestershire, but with a game in hand.

However, two of their remaining five matches are against leaders Nottinghamshire, the first starting at Trent Bridge on 28 August.

"I'm looking forward to the first game because that will be like a Test match kind of atmosphere and a good challenge, but I'd probably take one of the other teams (rather than playing Notts twice)," said Ripley.

"We've just got to play our best cricket for four days and if we get into a position where we get on top, we've got to really hammer it home.

"They've got such a healthy lead, I don't know if they'll just go for the jugular and try to win every game or whether they'll think that when they're playing someone else around them (in the table), have a featherbed (pitch), take some batting points and just ease themselves to promotion."

Ripley is confident Northants have the seam-bowling quality to add to their five Championship wins this season, but wants more consistency from his batsmen.

"We really need to fire with the bat to give ourselves a chance. We've had some decent individual performances, but as a collective, our batting points (total) doesn't lie, we haven't set the world alight," he added.

Northamptonshire's remaining Championship fixtures

  • v Nottinghamshire (a), 28 August
  • v Sussex (h), 5 September
  • v Glamorgan (a), 12 September
  • v Nottinghamshire (h), 19 September
  • v Leicestershire (a), 25 September

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