Cosgrove, Dexter and Raine in the runs

SCORE | Day 2 of 3: Leicestershire CCC 277-6 dec v Loughborough MCCU 10-2

SCORECARD | Available through ESPN Cricinfo

REPORT | Mark Cosgrove made a sparkling 91 while Neil Dexter and Ben Raine posted half-centuries as Leicestershire CCC responded well on the second day of the university game at the Fischer County Ground.

Loughborough MCCU offered an early examination as new ball duo Chris Sanders and Will Pereira impressed before the Foxes reached 277 for 6 declared.

Pakistan international seamer Muhammad Abbas and Raine then made a breakthrough apiece as Loughborough MCCU closed at 10 for 2 on an entertaining day of cricket.

The first day had been lost to a wet outfield but outstanding work by the groundstaff allowed play to start at 1pm today following an inspection by umpires Nick Cook and Russell Warren.

Leicestershire CCC handed a debut to Abbas while Sam Evans, who has a summer contract at the Fischer County Ground, was named in the Loughborough MCCU XI.

The innings got off to a tough start as the Foxes lost opener Paul Horton for 5 and then Ned Eckersley (0) to the next ball. Horton was bowled by seamer Sanders and Eckersley was trapped leg before wicket as he shouldered arms.

Two further wickets went down as captain Michael Carberry was lbw to left arm seamer Pereira for 8 before Colin Ackermann (0) edged a Sanders delivery to Andy Rishton at third slip who took a sharp catch low to his left.

Lewis Hill joined Cosgrove and the pair rebuilt impressively. Having been cautious to begin with, the trademark Cosgrove cover drive returned. Cosgrove, who has passed 1,000 first-class runs in each of his three years at County, scored 50 from 61 balls in an innings which contained nine boundaries.

The pair put on 90 before Hill was dismissed for 36. Hill had been positive throughout his innings with his driving particularly pleasing on the eye. Hill was dismissed by Rishton as he attempted to cut a ball but guided it straight to Charlie Thurston at gully.

Dexter joined Cosgrove and the pair added 67 to guide County into the tea interval with the score at 169 for 5 after 38 overs. The left-hander was dismissed nine runs short of a ton as Pereira moved one back to hit the off stump.

An attractive unbroken 104-run partnership was then formed between Dexter and Raine with the players reaching respective half-centuries from 90 balls and 74 deliveries. Dexter hit seven fours in the landmark while Raine’s 50 included six fours and a maximum.

Carberry called in the duo as soon as Raine reached 50, and Abbas struck in his second over, removing the off stump of Evans with an absolute beauty.

The Pakistan international bowled a lively spell, and Gavin Griffiths also bowled well before Raine came on and bowled Oliver Soames with his first delivery to end proceedings on a high note. 

TEAM | Carberry (capt), Horton, Eckersley (wk), Cosgrove, Ackermann, Hill, Dexter, Raine, Parkinson, Griffiths, Abbas.

FIGURES | Abbas 4-1-4-1, Griffiths 3-2-1-0, Raine 1-0-1-1.

PHOTO | Thanks to Ed Melia for the photograph of Mark Cosgrove batting today.

* Admission to the third and final day's play against Loughborough MCCU is free of charge tomorrow. You can follow the Foxes at the Fischer County Ground throughout the 2018 season by becoming a Premium Member of the club. For further details on the advantages of joining us, please follow the link HERE