Seconds record Trophy win over Notts

RESULT | Second XI Trophy (50 overs): Leicestershire Second XI 197 for 5 beat Nottinghamshire Second XI 193 by 5 wickets


REPORT | By Paul Rogers

Richard Jones picked up three wickets for the second SET match in succession, and Lewis Hill made an unbeaten half-century on his home ground of Lutterworth, as Leicestershire CCC recorded a five-wicket victory against Nottinghamshire CCC.

The day began with Hill spinning the coin exactly the appropriate number of rotations, thus inducing Jake Libby to call incorrectly. 

Leicestershire CCC duly took to the field and were given an early wake-up call by bludgeoning left-hander Solomon Budinger, a batsman seemingly possessed of a very fine eye and an instinct never to worship at the cult of the dot ball. 

He took cleanly struck sixes in the mid-wicket to mid-on arc in each of Dieter Klein’s first two overs, but with the score on 20 in the fourth over, his use of slightly less bottom hand proved terminal to his unfortunate partner, Lyndon James. 

A rocketed straight drive resulted in the most perfect, MCC textbook illustration of cricket’s most unfortunate dismissal as bowler Tom Taylor deflected the stroke on to the stumps, leaving the non-striker stranded a yard down the pitch, having scored just 1. 

Having reached 7, the first delivery Libby received from Jones induced a regulation edge behind, and when Budinger (22), showing no inclination to consolidate, skied Taylor to mid-off in the next over, Notts’ encouraging start had become more precarious at 43 for 3. 

Ten overs later, this had become perilous in the extreme. Chris Gibson was bowled playing defensively at Jones for 4. Carter was another, seemingly irresistibly seduced by Lutterworth’s short straight boundaries, holing out to long on for 9, in the same over he had hit Ateeq Javid for six. 

And when Kamau Leverock -who despite the loss of wickets, had scored his 44 at well over a run a ball throughout - chipped leg-spinner James Dickinson to short extra cover, Notts were 110-6 inside 20 overs. 

Jones showed fine dexterity for a tall man, managing to wriggle deep underneath Lutterworth’s low-skirted covers to successfully retrieve a boundary hit, as Marshall and wicket-keeper Keast added 43 - not without alarm, as the latter survived two of the three dropped chances from which he would ultimately benefit. 

Marshall, however, was the next to succumb to the sirenesque proximity of the Coventry Road, skying the economical Taylor tamely to extra cover for 25. 

Keast continued to ride his luck, but neither Milnes nor Blatherwick could stay with him for long – the latter almost walking for an lbw appeal by Dickinson - and when he himself, on 46, fell victim to temptation, lobbing Aadil Ali to deep mid off, Notts were all out for 193 with more than 12 overs remaining.

Leicestershire’s reply began inauspiciously with Harry Swindells (0) departing leg before to the last ball of the first over. Mark Pettini (31) & Ali (29) then seized control, adding 63 with minimal alarm, eight fours & a six between them. 

However, both edged behind in successive overs, and with Javid (5) giving Keast a third catch off a combination of bat and pad four overs later, the situation suddenly looked less secure - 86 for 4 in the 20th. 

A composed partnership, well-suited to the match situation, between Hill & Harry Dearden put Leicestershire CCC firmly back on top. A couple of not-quite-middled sweeps notwithstanding, they accumulated steadily and rotated the strike well, with Hill facing just four dots in his first 26 balls. 

A total of 59 runs were added before Dearden, having just reverse-swept his first boundary from leg-spinner Marshall, drilled the final ball of the same over back to the bowler.  

With 49 still needed, any nerves beginning to beset Leicestershire CCC followers were quickly assuaged by Taylor, who struck the ball as well as any batsman on the day, compiling an attractive unbeaten 26 from 25 deliveries, with three fours & a six. It capped an impressive day for the all-rounder, who earlier returned figures of 7-2-16-2.

After 40 overs, Hill (57*) ended the match with consecutive fours, the first bringing up his half-century from 64 balls (6x4); the second, a fifty partnership which came with no sense of risk, from just 48 balls. 

That Leicestershire hit just two sixes, compared to Notts’ seven, & yet won by five wickets with ten overs to spare, is a statistic that says a lot about the day.

* Many thanks to Lutterworth CC for hosting our two SET fixtures against MCC Young Cricketers and Nottinghamshire CCC. We now face Nottinghamshire CCC again, this time in a three-day Championship fixture, at Kibworth CC. Admission is free and the match starts at 11am today.