Chopra and Porterfield cruise past Leicestershire
Warwickshire 209 for 2 beat Leicestershire 205 for 9 by eight wickets
A magnificent opening partnership of 189 between Varun Chopra and Will Porterfield propelled Warwickshire to a crushing eight-wicket victory over Leicestershire in their Clydesdale Bank 40 Group B clash at Grace Road.
Porterfield hit 95 off 98 balls and Chopra 86 off 99 balls as Warwickshire chased down a target of 206 with more than three overs to spare to send the Leicestershire crashing to their fifth defeat in six games at the halfway stage of the competition.
Despite half centuries from Josh Cobb and former Gloucestershire batsman Kadeer Ali on his debut, Leicestershire could only post a disappointing 205 for 9 after being put in to bat. Darren Maddy starred with the ball taking four for 29 against his former county.
But it was Chopra and Porterfield who took the game away from Leicestershire with a blistering assault on the home attack during their stand spread across 32 overs. Porterfield blazed his way to 10 fours and two sixes while Chopra helped himself to five boundaries plus two sixes before both batsmen fell to left arm spinner Claude Henderson with victory assured. The winning runs came with a boundary from Jim Troughton midway through the 37th over.
Leicestershire looked on course for a much bigger total after reaching 92 for 1 in the first 17 overs. Cobb and Jacques du Toit shared an opening stand of 30 in six overs before du Toit was spectacularly caught by Tim Ambrose off Andrew Miller. The wicketkeeper taking the catch one-handed leaping high to his right.
But Cobb, boosted by a double century for the second team last week, looked full of confidence and hit one superb six over midwicket off Rikki Clarke. James Taylor also looked in good touch after his call up for the England Lions, striking four sweetly timed boundaries on his way to 32 before being run out by an excellent throw from Maddy.
It ended a stand of 62 in 11 overs and signalled the start of a rapid decline to the Foxes innings despite the efforts of Cobb and Ali. Cobb, having reached his 50 off 57 balls, was out without adding to his score as he was beaten and bowled as he pushed forward to a full length delivery from Steffan Piolet.
After that it was left to Ali to hold the innings together on his first-team debut after being released by Gloucestershire at the end of last season. He batted solidly to reach a half century off 53 balls with just one boundary but received minimal support. Wickets fell regularly at the other end as the innings subsided.
Matt Boyce was stumped off left arm spinner Paul Best and Maddy then came on to claim four of the last five wickets for 29 runs in six overs. Ali became one of his victims holing out to long-on for 60 off 59 balls with three boundaries. When Maddy then yorked Harry Gurney with the final ball of the innings Leicestershire had lost seven wickets for 91 runs in 18 overs.