After a Thursday night washout at Old Trafford, Northamptonshire return to home comforts on Friday night as they host Durham Jets in the Natwest t20 Blast.
The Steelbacks sit second in the North group, with Durham seventh, but Ripley’s men have major injury issues ravaging their small squad, so much so that Ripley even admitted his relief at being able to take a point from their clash with Lancashire.
Ripley’s men won their opening three games before their unbeaten record was taken by Worcestershire last Friday, but it remains to be seen if they can maintain that position missing a number of key men.
The county are in talks for a replacement overseas bowler with both Rory Kleinveldt and Seekkuge Prasanna unavailable due to injury and International commitment, but with no NOC (No Objection Certificate) yet obtained, the unnamed target won’t feature against Durham.
Durham meanwhile are coming into the game off a two week break from T20 action, a break in which they’ve won two of their four One-Day Cup matches.
Those results sum up an inconsistent season for the club in white ball cricket so far, with two wins and three defeats so far in their Blast campaign.
Impressive wins against Lancashire and Nottinghamshire looked to have them on course but two disappointing batting displays followed, in particular in their last outing, a defeat to Leicestershire.
Ben Duckett has had a remarkable ten days, knocks of 97 and 121 in the One-Day Cup whilst also recording a maiden T20 half century at Worcester last week, the diminutive batsman has all the shots in the book as well as some inventiveness, and missing some big names, Northants will need his form to continue.
Phil Mustard’s England days may be beyond him but the wicketkeeper-batsman is still leading the way for Durham, providing an explosive presence at the top of the order. With 142 runs he is the only Jets batsman into three figures yet this season, at an impressive strike-rate of 146.
Northants are still missing the trio of Richard Levi, Rory Kleinveldt and Seekkuge Prasanna, with Rob Newton likely to replace Prasanna from Northants’ last T20 outing and Moin Ashraf could make his debut.
Northants squad: TBC
Durham have added Jamie Harrison to the 12 man squad named for Wednesday’s One-Day Cup victory over Nottinghamshire, Harrison having returned from an minor ankle injury.
Durham squad: Mark Stoneman (C), Usman Arshad, Scott Borthwick, Jack Burnham, Paul Collingwood, Paul Coughlin, Jamie Harrison, Keaton Jennings, Calum MacLeod, Phil Mustard (wkt), Ryan Pringle, Michael Richardson, Chris Rushworth.
Weather and conditions
After Thursday’s washout, it could be another frustrating evening at Wantage Road on Friday with showers forecast throughout the day. If play is possible, it will likely be on a fresh wicket, which have usually been good for batting this season.
Date: Friday 16th June 2016
Venue: Wantage Road, Northampton
Umpires: Michael Burns, Peter Hartley
Odds: Northants 8/11, Durham 11/10