Taylor inspires Foxes to victory

RESULT | Leicestershire Foxes 340 all out beat Warwickshire CCC 304 by 36 runs

SCORECARD | Available from Cricinfo HERE

POINTS | Leicestershire Foxes 2, Warwickshire 0

REACTION | Head Coach Paul Nixon spoke exclusively to Foxes TV following the result. Click HERE to watch the full interview.

REPORT | A brilliant all-round display from Tom Taylor helped Leicestershire Foxes to a 36-run win against Warwickshire in the final Royal London One-Day Cup group game of the 2019 campaign.

Taylor, who richly deserved a maiden List A century, ended on a career-best 98 not out from only 56 balls (13x4, 1x6). It was an outstanding innings, with clean striking all around the wicket and some good running to boot.

It propelled the Foxes to 340 all out after fine innings from leading scorer Colin Ackermann (74, 80b) and Harry Dearden (69, 62b) had set a solid platform.

Taylor then claimed three for 58, instigated the run out of impressive debutant Rob Yates (66, 74b), and took two good catches on the long-on boundary to complete his day.

The spinners also enjoyed their day at the FCG as Bears duo Jeetan Patel and Alex Thomson took a combined three for 85 off 20 overs while the triumvirate Ackermann, Callum Parkinson and Ateeq Javid snared two for 92 off 19.

Leicestershire Foxes named an unchanged side, won the toss and elected to bat. Warwickshire CCC got off to a quick start with the wicker of George Munsey (1, 6b), who played an Oliver Hannon-Dalby delivery on to his wicket.

Munsey’s opening partner Dearden came steaming out of the blocks, bringing up his third career half-century in the eighth over from only 34 balls, hitting 11 fours – a welcome innings for the Foxes.

The left-hander played several eye-catching cover drives and also hit the ball down the ground well. He also latched on to a short delivery from George Panayi to pull handsomely to the ropes.

Mark Cosgrove had enough time to grow into his innings thanks to Dearden’s superb start and began to up the tempo. The run-rate had just dipped below seven until Cosgrove hit three quick boundaries to get it back above.

Not long after, the Australian was bowled by off-spinner Alex Thomson for 25 (32b), and that brought captain Ackermann in. He struck the game’s first maximum and a number of fours in his first few overs faced.

Having shared 64 for the third wicket with Cosgrove, Dearden was next to be dismissed after being bowled by a quality delivery from Patel that gripped and moved away to hit the off stump. The Foxes were at 131-3 after 22 overs.

Lewis Hill (6) came out and tried to loft a shot down to third man where the tall Hannon-Dalby was standing, who comfortably took the chance off Craig Miles.

Leading scorer Ackermann, who was now accompanied by Javid, went past 50 for the third time in the competition from 56 balls.

The Foxes soon lost Ackermann (74, 80b) and Javid (9, 19b), the latter being the first to go being run out by Miles, while Ackermann was caught by Will Rhodes at backward point off Patel.

All-rounder Taylor struck the ball cleanly on either side of the wicket to record 13 fours and a brace of sixes in his 56-ball knock, with one of his boundaries being a deft reverse-sweep off Patel.

He and Ben Mike shared 57 in good time for the seventh wicket, with Taylor quick to hit his second career half-century from 34 deliveries (8x4).

The partnership reached the 50-run mark and this burst of scoring made 350 a real possibility for the Foxes.

However, Mike’s stay came to an end at 11 (12b) after being caught by Patel at long-off from the bowling of Hannon-Dalby.

Klein’s time at the crease lasted only two deliveries; his first went for four, and he was then pinned lbw by Hannon-Dalby. The Foxes sat at 284 for eight with five overs left to play.

Parkinson posted 19 (13b) in an important ninth wicket stand worth 52 with Taylor to help the Foxes over the 300 mark.

Taylor was also edging ever closer to his maiden century as a Fox, but he unfortunately lost his last two partners.

Parkinson was run out after Taylor’s straight drive was deflected on to the stumps at the non-striker’s end by Hannon-Dalby. It was the last ball of the penultimate over, so Muhammad Abbas was on strike for the last.

He got four runs on the board from his second ball, although he was looking for a single to get Taylor back on strike. Unfortunately for Taylor, though, Abbas (4, 3b) was then pinned lbw by George Panayi.

The visitors got off to a brisk start in the chase, thanks in large to an impressive half-century from Ed Pollock (47b, 7x4, 1x6). But Ackermann introduced himself and was economical, and the pressure was built on with two wickets.

Pollock’s opening colleague Dominic Sibley (21, 32b) was trapped in front by Klein, while Pollock (57, 55b) himself was then bowled by the slow left arm Parkinson after a delivery spun and beat the forward defensive.

Taking the pace off continued to work for the Foxes as off-spinner Javid struck against his former club, Rhodes (10, 12b) lofting high to Taylor at long-off.

Young Yates was batting beautifully, and having registered 50 from 67 balls (4x4), played three superb shots in the 32nd over.

A pull flew over mid-wicket before a cover drive raced to the fence, and the left-hander then struck a short delivery over long-leg for a maximum.

However, he was run out in slightly unfortunate fashion before the over was out. In trying to avoid the bowler - who couldn’t get out of the way - Yates took a wider path, and a pinpoint throw from Taylor and quick glovework by Hill beat his dive.

Thomson hit a quickfire 24 (19b) to keep the Bears in touch, but in trying to pull a slower ball bouncer from Klein, he succeeded only in getting a top edge that looped up to ‘keeper Hill.

It left the visitors at 220 for five, still requiring 121 from twelve-and-a-half overs, and the task became even steeper when Taylor bowled Liam Banks (38, 40b) in the next offering.

Klein made it three for the innings when Mellor (1, 4b) lofted to Munsey at long-on, and it became four wickets in as many overs as Abbas took a good tumbling catch off Taylor to dismiss Panayi (1, 4b).

Miles (31, 17b) and Patel (28, 19b) gave it the long handle, but you couldn't keep Taylor out of the game. The former was brilliantly held by Taylor at full stretch at long-on from the bowling of Abbas, and Taylor then fittingly had the final say as the visiting captain drove high to Javid at long-off.

Leicestershire CCC now have a few days to get back into the groove for the return of red ball cricket, with a trip to Lord's to face Middlesex CCC next Tuesday.

TEAM | Dearden, Munsey, Cosgrove, Ackermann (capt), Hill (wk), Javid, Taylor, Mike, Klein, Parkinson, Abbas.

FIGURES | Abbas 10-0-59-1, Klein 9-0-66-3, Ackermann 5-0-19-0, Parkinson 10-0-55-1, Taylor 8.1-0-58-3, Javid 4-0-19-1, Mike 1-0-18-0.

Warwickshire | Pollock, Sibley, Yates, Rhodes, Banks, Mellor (wk), Thomson, Panayi, Patel (capt), Miles, Hannon-Dalby.

IMAGES | Thanks to John Mallett of Outside Off for providing the images throughout the game.