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Second XI Trophy Game 1: Leicestershire 289-5 (Pinner 140 not out, Wells 75) beat Nottinghamshire 288-8 (Kelsall 109) by five wickets.
By Pete Johnson
Leicestershire gained a comfortable five-wicket victory against Nottinghamshire in their Second XI Trophy match at Leicester Ivanhoe CC.
The game saw a number of positives, including great innings from Neil Pinner and Tom Wells, and a fine 35 by Dan Redfern on his return from injury.
Leicestershire won the toss and invited Nottinghamshire to bat on a clear but cool and chilly day at Hinckley Road. There was a healthy number of spectators spread around the boundary rope when the teams took the field.
County made their first breakthrough in the 6th over when Ollie Freckingham trapped Matt Cross in front for 12 (18 balls) with the score on 36.
Sam Kelsall and Azad took the score onto 94 before Wells took a catch at wide mid-on off the bowling of Rob Sayer to dismiss Azad for 12 (33 balls). Azad had earlier been put down by a sharp caught and bowled chance by Freckingham when on six.
Kelsall and Sam Wood then added 96 for the third wicket before Wood 62 (60 balls) was caught by Alex Wyatt from a top edge off Wells. Wood’s 50 came from 52 balls (6x4, 2x6).
Meanwhile Kelsall had been scoring freely at the other end with his 50 coming up after 16.1 overs (58 balls, 8x4). Keeper Lewis Hill was then involved in two dismissals, firstly taking a smart catch off Wyatt to dismiss Adam Tillcock (1) and then running out Paul Franks (23) with a direct hit.
Franks went in the 41st over, making the score 232-6. At the other end, Kelsall had moved to an excellent century from 118 balls (13x4). Kelsall was finally dismissed with the score on 251 when he was bowled by Usman Tariq for 109.
Kelsall had offered only one chance in his stay at the crease, a sharp caught and bowled to Sayer when on 54. After Kelsall was dismissed in the 45th over, Notts added a further 37 runs.
They lost Luke Fletcher for 19 (22 balls), expertly caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary by Pinner off Tariq. Although the catch was a regulation steepler, the undulating contours of the outfield in the vicinity where the catch was taken were overcome with ease by Pinner.
The final wicket to go was Webster (2), caught by Aadil Ali running in from the mid-wicket boundary off the bowling of Freckingham. Seymour (29) and Luke Wood (1) were the not out batsman in a 50-over total of 288-8.
Bowling figures for County: Wyatt 8-0-51-1: Freckingham 10-1-55-2: Wells 10-1-77-1: Sayer 10-0-46-1: Tariq 10-1-41-2: Root 2-0-16-0
In their reply County lost two quick wickets and were reduced to 19-2 after 3 overs. Alexander Williams (1) went bowled by Luke Wood and Billy Root (6) soon followed bowled by Fletcher. Redfern was building an innings at a somewhat rapid pace when he fell lbw to Walton for 35 (41 balls). The score was now 71-3 from 12 overs.
Then followed a magnificent partnership of 184 between Pinner and Wells that put the match firmly in Leicestershire's control. Pinner was leading the run chase with an array of shots all around the wicket, while uncharacteristically Wells was playing the supporting role.
Pinner moved to his 50 (48 balls, 5x4) in the 21st over in taking the score to 120-3. Wells meanwhile awoke from his slumbers depositing Webster for a six over mid-wicket that went like an exocet.
Wells moved to his 50 (65 balls, 3x4, 2x6) in the 32nd over, taking the score to 186-3. Pinner moved to his 100 in the 37th over (90 balls, 11x4), a fine innings that had put County firmly in the box seats.
Wells at the other end was feasting on spinner Tillcock, hitting him for two towering maximums. The partnership was broken in the 41st over when Wells was bowled by Tillcock, attempting to deposit him in a different area postcode. The score was now 255-4.
Tariq went first ball caught at long-on by Fletcher, again off Tillcock. With 34 still needed to win, any nerves were soon dispelled by the incoming Hill, who made 16 not out (14 balls), and the resolute Pinner.
The winning runs came off the last ball of the 46th over, Pinner finishing unbeaten on 140 (120 balls, 16x4). Leicestershire took points to start their Second XI Trophy campaign on the right note.
Bowling figures for Notts: Fletcher 8-0-48-1: Wood (L) 8-0-54-1: Walton 4-0-26-1: Wood (S) 10-0-43-0: Tillcock 10-0-64-2: Webster 3-0-27-0: Seymour 3-0-22-0.
The two teams now meet in a Championship match starting tomorrow at Grace Road. The Friends of Grace Road will be open in the Meet during the game.