In-form Jets edge out Foxes

RESULT | Vitality Blast game 11: Leicestershire Foxes 142 for 6 lost to Durham Jets 156 for 6 by 14 runs

SCORECARD | Available through ESPN Cricinfo

REACTION | Captain Colin Ackermann spoke to BBC Radio Leicester's Richard Rae after the game

HIGHLIGHTS | In-play highlights are available throughout the 2018 season

POINTS | Durham Jets 2, Leicestershire Foxes 0

REPORT | Leicestershire Foxes’ hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of Vitality Blast for a second consecutive year took a blow as in-form Durham Jets inflicted an 14-run defeat at Emirates Riverside.

Home skipper Tom Latham posted a hard-working 52 off 48 balls while James Weighell struck three sixes in his useful 28 (13b) as the Jets put 156 for six on the board.

The Foxes attack bowled well as unit with spinners Mohammad Nabi (4-0-27-1), Callum Parkinson (3-0-16-1) and Colin Ackermann (2-0-16-1) proving particularly difficult to get away for a second game in succession.

Ackermann (74, 52b, 8x4, 1x6) more than matched his counterpart’s efforts in sharing 89 in 11 overs for the sixth wicket with Ned Eckersley (39*, 35b), but the Foxes could not quite make up the ground they lost in the early exchanges of the chase.

The team was unchanged from the fantastic win at Lancashire Lightning, and in the field after Latham won the toss on a warm but breezy evening in the north-east.

A total of 24 runs came from the first two overs, including Latham picking up a brace of boundaries off his legs, before Gavin Griffiths bowled an excellent third over that went for just two.

Clark struck a mighty six down the ground at the end of the fourth, but there were two key wickets before the powerplay was out.

Opener Clark (23, 14b) was yorked by Zak Chappell before a pinpoint throw from Griffiths at third man accounted for Paul Collingwood (1, 2b) as he attempted to complete a second run.

Spin was to play an important role and the Foxes generally kept things tight as Ackermann rotated the bowlers every over for most of the innings.

A well-placed sweep by Latham yielded a four in the eighth over, but Ackermann and Dexter, who largely bowled cutters off a shorter run, bowled effective overs as the score reached 71 for two at halfway.

Nabi capitalised by having Liam Trevaskis (8, 12b) stumped as the policy of rotating the slower bowlers worked nicely. Will Smith broke the shackles by sweeping a boundary in the 12th, but Latham had to fight for his runs.

Pressure nearly told as a Latham pull off Ackermann went towards long-on, but the ball burst through the fielder’s hands and also crossed the ropes.

Griffiths (4-0-28-0) continued to bowl beautifully, and it took Latham 45 deliveries to reach 50 in the 15th over. The skipper was then bowled by a full delivery as he attempted a reverse-sweep off Parkinson.

The Jets lost Smith (26, 23b) in the 18th as he drove Chappell to Ackermann at mid-off, but some clean striking by Weighell and Stuart Poynter (10*, 7b) propelled the Jets as 50 runs came from the last four overs.

It quickly emerged that the Jets had a competitive score to defend. There were two early blows as Dexter (1, 2b) chipped the off-spin of Smith to Weighell at mid-off while Raine nicked Chris Rushworth’s first ball to Collingwood at slip.

Ackermann drove handsomely for four through mid-on, but the Foxes lost two more wickets inside the first six overs as Cosgrove (7, 11b) was bowled by Nathan Rimmington, who then had Javid (1,2b) down the leg-side.

When Nabi (3, 9b) was caught at cover in leg-spinner Ben Whitehead’s opening over - the eighth of the innings - the Foxes had slipped to 33 for five.

The skipper continued to play some fine strokes, including a sweep off Whitehead, two consecutive fours from the bowling of Collingwood in the ninth, and a strong pull off the leggie - but the Foxes now needed ten runs an over at the halfway point.

Ackermann and Eckersley gave it their very best shot. Ackermann recorded his half-century from 38 balls (6x4) at the end of the 13th, and the entertaining stand with Eckersley reached 50 before the ‘keeper struck his first four of the innings.

A boundary was hit over mid-on by Ackermann as Whitehead (4-0-27-1) completed his fine spell from the Finchale End, and the captain then smoked a big maximum over straight mid-wicket before a well-placed reverse-sweep raced to the fence.

The target was now 36 off 12 balls, but Rimmington picked up the key wicket of Ackermann, and although Chappell (13*, 5b) gave it the long handle, it was not to be for the Foxes.

TEAM | Dexter, Cosgrove, Raine, Ackermann (capt), Nabi, Eckersley (wk), Javid, Swindells, Chappell, Parkinson, Griffiths

FIGURES | Nabi 4-0-27-1, Raine 1-0-13-0, Griffiths 4-0-28-0, Chappell 4-0-40-2, Javid 1-0-9-0, Ackermann 2-0-16-1, Dexter 1-0-5-0, Parkinson 3-0-16-1

PHOTO | Thanks to Ed Melia for the photo of Colin Ackermann batting

* Our next Vitality Blast home game is against Worcestershire Rapids on Friday! The best value tickets are available in advance – adult tickets cost just £16 ahead of the match. Secure your seat at the Fischer County Ground today HERE