Date: Monday 27 August 2012
Leicestershire Foxes were frustrated in their bid to end the Clydesdale Bank 40 campaign with back to back wins as heavy rain forced the abandonment of the final game against Gloucestershire Gladiators with the team looking in good shape.
Leicestershire Foxes were bowled out for 264 in 38 overs thanks in large to Liam Norwell’s career-best 6-52.
Shiv Thakor (52 off 51) and Matthew Boyce (51 off 47) both made well-constructed fifties while Josh Cobb (42 from 26) let rip and Will Jones (44 from 47) and Michael Thornely (33 from 30) also played well.
The Gladiators moved to 19-1 after four overs in reply, with leading wicket-taker Rob Taylor (2-0-5-1) taking the wicket, when the rain set in at Grace Road. The match was there abandoned as a no result.
The Foxes made two changes from the side that won at Worcestershire as all-rounder Tom Wells came in for his List A debut and Robbie Joseph was also brought into the team. Ramnaresh Sarwan and Nathan Buck were the men to have a rest ahead of the LV=CC game with Kent that starts tomorrow (noon start).
Cobb and Thornely shared a sprightly 65 in seven overs after the Foxes were invited to bat first. Thornely hit two off-side boundaries in the second over and the opener also drove down the ground to the ropes in the next over. Cobb twice hit boundaries in the 4th as the Foxes made a positive start.
An extraordinary over followed from James Fuller as Cobb hit the first five balls, including two free hits, for four. The batsman was going great guns but fell in the next over to an Alex Gidman slip catch as Norwell started his wicket spree.
Jones smashed two boundaries in the 9th as the bowling powerplay was taken and each batsman hit a four in the next over. Spin was then introduced from both ends and Thornely hit the first maximum of the innings with a cracking sweep as Ed Young delivered the 11th over.
The Foxes 100 came up in the next over sent down by Rob Nicol but Benny Howell (6-0-26-2) entered the attack to good effect. After having an lbw shout against Jones with the inswinger turned down, Thornely then nibbled at one that moved away and was caught by Jon Batty.
Jones and Thakor built a sensible partnership and both batsmen found the fence as the score moved to 142-2 at the halfway mark. The Foxes were not able to fully capitalise on their excellent first half. The first blow was inflicted by Norwell, who ended the stand one shy of 50 as Jones got a tickle through to Batty.
That brought Boyce to the wicket and another alliance developed. Thakor twice swept for four in the 26th over as he closed in on 50 and the landmark came from 48 balls and included three boundaries.
Thakor holed out to Ian Cockbain in the deep off the returning Howell and the 200 came up in the 31st over. Will Gidman (8-1-31-0) and Howell did a good job in slowing down the rate and the score was 205-4 when the batting powerplay was taken.
Boyce drove down the ground for four before Norwell claimed a third wicket as Wayne White drilled down Cockbain’s throat at long-on. Eckersley (11, 6b) picked up where he left off at Worcestershire by drilling an early six but he too became a victim of Norwell as Howell took a well-judged catch long-off.
All-rounder Wells came in for his first knock and he got off the mark immediately with a two. Another two followed before a good final powerplay over. Boyce hit two reverse sweeps to the fence off Young before launching a conventional one for four and a three took him to a 44-ball 50.
Norwell completed his five-for by bowling Wells and the seamer then made it six as Boyce pulled a short ball straight to Will Gidman at short fine leg. The Foxes needed an injection of impetus and Taylor provided it by clouting a huge six.
But Taylor skied another attempt and was caught by Batty off Fuller. Joseph was also caught by Batty, this time off a conventional edge, as the Foxes were bowled out with two overs to go. The Foxes had a good start as Taylor bowled Hamish Marshall in the third over but rain came with the score on 19-1 after four overs.
Umpires George Sharp and Michael Gough monitored the situation but the rain did not relent and the game was abandoned with both teams taking a point apiece. The final day results meant the Foxes finished above Worcestershire Royals in the table.
* Thanks to Ed Melia for providing the photograph.