Cup joy for Steelbacks
The Northants Steelbacks skipper David Sales says the pressure will be off his Northants side after drawing a trip to Nottinghamshire in the Twenty20 Cup quarter-finals.
Northants powered into the last eight with a comfortable eight-wicket win over Midlands/West/Wales Division winners Gloucestershire Gladiators at Bristol and once again Sales led from the front.
After a superb bowling effort restricted the home side to 154 for seven Sales hammered 68 off 30 balls, putting on 87 with Rob White, to take Northants into the quarter-finals for the second year running.
Last year Northants bowed out with a four-wicket defeat at home to eventual champions Somerset Sabres in front of a packed Wantage Road crowd.
But this year the Steelbacks will go to Trent Bridge as underdogs against the county champions, who finished the best runners-up behind Leicestershire in the North Division with one more win than Northants.
Sales said: "We are going to go there with not as much pressure on us like there was last year at home."
And Sales feels Northants can take real confidence from their demolition of Gloucestershire. "We were very pleased with that," said Sales. "It was a very professional performance. To restrict them to 154 was excellent and then to knock off the runs so easily was really good."
In the end Northants needed to win as Warwickshire won their final game by 11 runs against Worcestershire at New Road.