Northamptonshire v Leicestershire, Northampton, 4th day

Boyce ton ensures shared spoils

May 27, 2011

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Leicestershire 313 and 268 for 3 dec drew with Northamptonshire 312

Leicestershire's Matthew Boyce scored a century as the last day of their County Championship match against Division Two leaders Northamptonshire fizzled out into a draw.

Boyce made 101 off 173 balls, including 17 fours, to register a ton for the second consecutive game after previously going three years without reaching 100. The wash-out of the previous day made a result unlikely at Wantage Road and Leicestershire batted through the day in making 268 for three before declaring, to bring a tame end to a match which was delicately poised at one point.

James Middlebrook took two wickets as the hosts remained unbeaten this season, with both sides picking up nine points from the contest. With no play possible on the third day due to rain, Leicestershire began the day on 52 without loss, 53 runs ahead of their opponents, with Will Jefferson resuming on 15 and Boyce on 36.

Jefferson made it to 28 before dragging Jack Brooks' delivery on to his middle stump in the eighth over of the day before bad light stopped play 40 minutes into proceedings. A total of 11 overs had been lost by the time the players came out again after a 43-minute delay, further reducing the chances of a result.

Boyce then completed his half-century off 88 balls with a four crashed through extra cover off Brooks as the visitors reached lunch on 103 for one. Boyce and Paul Nixon then easily saw out the opening exchanges of the afternoon session as they added 76 between them.

Veteran Nixon contributed 21 before being trapped lbw by Middlebrook - but Boyce hung around to reach 100 off 169 balls with a single off Rob White. It was the third first-class ton of his career but he was to add just a further single before top-edging Middlebrook to captain Andrew Hall at slip.

However, Leicestershire continued to make the home attack toil as James Taylor and Andrew McDonald took them to the tea interval on 219 for three.

Taylor then survived being dropped on 32 by Northamptonshire wicketkeeper David Murphy off the bowling of White in the fourth over of the evening. The England Lion went on to reach 50 off 103 deliveries and Australia international McDonald, who smashed 164 off 140 balls in the first innings, followed suit off 80 balls, with only one boundary off Middlebrook coming his way.

Leicestershire then declared at 4.55pm, bringing an early end to the match, with Taylor and McDonald's partnership unbeaten on 99.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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