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Lewis Hill and Aadil Ali shared an excellent partnership but Jigar Naik’s five-wicket haul ensured the intra-club game ended in an exciting draw.
Team 1 resumed on 126-5 and Ben Raine and Rob Taylor batted brilliantly on the final morning as the side moved to 204-5 before declaring after an hour’s play.
Team 2 slipped to 176 but Hill made a brilliant 87 (87b) and Ali (55*, 102b) supported him superbly in a stand of 117.
However, Naik took 5-92 from 30 probing overs and Charlie Shreck also put in a lot of hard work to put Team 1 back in control. Ali and Alex Wyatt then saw out 19 balls to secure the draw with team 2 finishing on 316-9.
The match was extremely competitive and a number of good individual performances underlined the competition for places in the squad. Captain Ramnaresh Sarwan will be pleased with what he saw over the course of the three days.
Earlier in the day, Taylor and Raine brought up a well-constructed 50 partnership and then took advantage of getting in by playing some flowing strokes. Both left-handers looked particularly strong down the ground.
A straight six from Raine registered the 100-stand in quick time and Taylor brought up his 50 from 81 balls (10x4). Raine was unbeaten on 47 (88 balls, 6x4, 1x6) at that point.
Bowling figures for Team 2 were: Freckingham 14-2-49-2, Buck 14-4-28-1, Wyatt 6-0-49-0, Wells 8-2-25-1, Sykes 9-2-38-1, Tariq 4-1-9-0.
It meant Team 2 were chasing 335 from a minimum of 81 overs and Matthew Boyce and Michael Thornely opened the innings. The duo took the score to 29 before Naik got one to turn beautifully and Thornely was bowled through the gate for 15.
The score was 34-1 at lunch with Boyce on 15 and Billy Root 4. The young left-hander moved to 17 before leaving an Anthony Ireland delivery that clattered into his stumps.
Boyce progressed to an 88-ball 50 that included six fours and Neil Pinner also played well as the partnership moved beyond 50 to frustrate Team 1. However, Shreck kept persevering and Boyce (58, 103b), drove to Raine at cover.
The returning Naik then trapped Pinner (33, 44b) and Usman Tariq (0) leg before as the tide started to turn. Tom Wells and Lewis Hill regrouped and got through to tea with the score on 154-5.
The chase was now 181 from the final 37 overs of play. Hill started like a house on fire after tea but Wells (24, 33b) holed out to Shreck at mid-on off Ireland.
Aadil Ali shared a vibrant alliance with Hill, who brought up his second fifty of the match with the ninth four of his second innings. Hill’s latest half-century came from 60 balls and the target was now 95 from the last 20 overs.
The duo continued to chip away and Hill played a terrific shot to pick up his first six. A no-ball then went for four byes as the partnership moved into three figures. Another Hill maximum took the target below 50 but Team 2 suffered a blow when Hill was caught at long-on by Ned Eckersley off Shreck.
Ali moved to 50 from 86 deliveries – the knock included six fours and a six – and James Sykes offered good support. But the spinner was bowled by Naik with 21 still required from 3.4 overs and Nathan Buck (0) then fell lbw.
Wyatt joined Ali and despite the best efforts of Naik and Shreck, the pair could not be shifted. Bowling figures for Team 1 were: Shreck 20-4-97-2, Ireland 12-3-37-2, Raine 12-1-39-0, Naik 30-7-92-5, Taylor 7-0-43-0.
The next action at Grace Road is Leicestershire Second XI’s three-day friendly against Derbyshire next week. The match starts on Tuesday (11am) and the First XI play at Kent in the first game of the LV=CC season on Sunday, April 20 (11am start).