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Leicestershire Foxes simply must return a maximum point haul to keep their YB40 qualification hopes alive in the next few days.
The team started their five-match run-in by beating Yorkshire Vikings last Sunday but suffered a huge blow when losing to rivals Gloucestershire on Tuesday.
That means the Foxes (10 pts) are currently five points behind table toppers Somerset, who have one game remaining. Glamorgan, Middlesex and Gloucestershire sit between the two counties with 13 points to their name in an incredibly tight Group C.
Only one team is guaranteed to qualify, so unfortunately the Foxes do not have destiny in their own hands.
But with several games between Somerset, Glamorgan, Middlesex, Gloucestershire and Leicestershire still to come, six points could yet be enough to either win the group or grab the best runners-up position.
The Foxes have already beaten Somerset and Gloucestershire this season and will be confident of reproducing that form as they look to make the semi-finals.
The quest begins against Unicorns on Sunday afternoon (1.45pm start) before games against Glamorgan at Swansea (Sunday, August 25) and Middlesex at Lord’s (Bank Holiday Monday, August 26). There is an LV=CC fixture between the last three YB40 fixtures, also against the Welsh county at St Helen’s.
The Foxes have no new injury concerns ahead of the Unicorns match, so there is a 14-man squad for the game. Alex Wyatt, Tom Wells and Ollie Freckingham join the XI on duty that played at Gloucestershire on Tuesday.
Unicorns are yet to win a game but have produced some excellent performances, not least against the Foxes in an entertaining game at Wormsley. The team’s availability is likely to be affected by the final round of Minor Counties fixtures on Sunday but they do have a wide pool of players to select from.
Josh Cobb made a ton in the first meeting between the sides and passed the 500-run mark against Yorkshire Vikings. Cobb now has 516 runs at an average of 64.50, scoring three centuries in total.
Greg Smith (247 at 35.28) and Niall O’Brien (244 at 30.50) have also made a hundred in the competition and are the next two leading scorers. Ned Eckersley (179 runs at 29.83) has also reached three figures for the Foxes in the YB40 competition this campaign.
On the bowling front, Rob Taylor is leading wicket-taker with 13 claimed at an average of 25.23, while Cobb, Robbie Williams and Nathan Buck have picked up six victims apiece. Jigar Naik, who will miss the rest of the season with a dislocated shoulder, has the best economy rate of the attack (5.60).
Foxes (from): Cobb, O’Brien, Smith, Eckersley, Boyce, Thakor, Thornely, Taylor, Ireland, Sykes, Williams, Wells, Wyatt, Freckingham.