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Page last updated at 14:09 GMT, Monday, 16 May 2011 15:09 UK

Northants form no shock - Niall O'Brien

Niall O'Brien
O'Brien has scored 417 runs in the Championship so far this season

Wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien says he is not surprised by Northants' strong start to the season.

Andrew Hall's side are the only team in England who are unbeaten in both the County Championship and Clydesdale Bank 40 so far this summer.

O'Brien told BBC Radio Northampton: "We've not really surprised ourselves because we've got a good squad.

"In the last couple of years, we haven't done ourselves justice. Now, there's a better collective spirit."

After their innings victory at Gloucestershire, Northants sit top of County Championship Division Two, with three wins and two draws.

With a 100% record in the CB 40, they sit second in Group B with a game in hand on leaders Surrey.

"Success breeds success in any sport," said O'Brien, who was part of the Ireland side that beat England at the World Cup.

"Jack Brooks and Lee Daggett have been absolutely top drawer. They're working with Geoff Arnold, a well respected coach, who's done a lot of good work in the winter.

"But there's no obvious answer to why we're doing better this season. Chaminda Vaas has been here from the start of the season, which has helped.

"This year, we got away [on a pre-season tour of South Africa], we're ahead of the game, and now we're in position to stay on top."

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see also
Northants wrap up win over Glos
14 May 11 |  Counties
Daggett targets more T20 success
10 May 11 |  Northants
Hall calls for more early wickets
28 Apr 11 |  Northants

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