Cosgrove anticipating great game

Leicestershire Foxes are facing a quick turnaround after last night’s clinical NatWest T20 Blast triumph at Northants Steelbacks.

Another victory against Yorkshire Vikings this afternoon (2.30pm start), in what is a game in hand on most of their rivals, would really open up what is proving to be a close North Division.

In that scenario, the Foxes would join today’s opponents, Derbyshire Falcons and Birmingham Bears on 13 points with two games to play – only Notts Outlaws (16) and Northants Steelbacks (14) would have more in the end column.

But Yorkshire Vikings are coming into the fixture on the back of a fine win of their own against Roses rivals Lancashire Lightning, and another two points would stand them alone in second place in what is their penultimate group game.

Batsman Mark Cosgrove has made two consecutive scores in the seventies for the Foxes, and is anticipating a cracking match this afternoon.

“This group is really tight,” said Cosgrove. “Yorkshire are a really good side but if we can play like we did against Northants, it should be a fantastic game.

“We have been playing some really good cricket in the last couple of games so hopefully we are peaking at just the right time in this competition.

“Our crowd has been really good and we are due to win at home. We want to pay back the faith the fans have in us.”

The left-hander played a key role in the superb win at Wantage Road. Cosgrove scored a second consecutive Leicestershire best (79 off 48 balls), and his personal innings mirrored the team’s given there were more sixes (Cosgrove 4, team 10) than fours (3, 9).

He said: “I felt like I hit the ball really nicely. I just needed to hang around for a bit and get myself in given Ronc [Luke Ronchi] and Cam [Cameron Delport] got us off to a great start again, so I changed my role a little bit.

“Spin has played a big part for them, [Rob] Keogh and [Saif] Zaib have been bowling well for them, but we took them on, knowing that [Richard] Gleeson at the back end is one of the best going around.

“We set it up 14 or 15 overs out as we knew the back end would be tough with [Richard] Gleeson and [Rory] Kleinveldt coming back.

“We played really well against Northants, they came at us hard with the bat in the early exchanges we stuck to our guns and were clinical at the death. The bowlers did fantastically; we bowled well in partnerships, which was important.”

Given the nature of a double-header that will start and finish within a 24-hour period, Leicestershire will assess the squad before the game - but the same 14-man squad has been named at this stage.

Foxes (from): McKay (capt), Aadil, Ackermann, Cosgrove, Delport, Eckersley, Griffiths, Hill, Klein, Parkinson, Pillans, Ronchi, Sayer, Wells.