Worcestershire v Leicestershire, Friends Life t20, New Road July 1, 2011

Leicestershire close in at the top

Leicestershire 134 for 4 (McDonald 53) beat Worcestershire 130 for 7 (Andrew 54*) by six wickets

Leicestershire tightened their grip on second place in the Friends Life t20 North Group by beating closest challengers Worcestershire by six wickets at New Road.

The Royals did well to reach 130 for 7 after their top batsmen misfired, but it was not enough to stretch the Foxes as Andrew McDonald topped 50 for the fifth time in the competition this season.

McDonald shrugged off the loss of two partners in the opening powerplay and lifted the tempo with Will Jefferson (16) in a stand of 45.

McDonald was particularly hard on young paceman Aneesh Kapil, the 17-year-old conceding 16 runs in his only over, and the game was running away from Worcestershire before their international spinners could make an impact.

Jefferson was caught behind off Saeed Ajmal and McDonald drilled Shakib Al Hasan to cover after hitting five fours and a six in his 53, but James Taylor, unbeaten with 22, and Abdul Razzaq (16 not out) saw Leicestershire home with 15 balls to spare.

Worcestershire lost their top five batsmen for 42 - four of the wickets shared by new-ball pair Harry Gurney and Matthew Hoggard - and only nudged past 100 thanks to Gareth Andrew's third unbeaten fifty in Twenty20 matches this year.

Although restricted to five boundaries, Andrew again used his long-handled, short-bladed bat to good effect in making 54 from 42 balls, mostly in a seventh-wicket stand of 60 in nine overs with Ben Scott.

Scott was run out for 22 in the final over, a sacrifice that put Andrew back on strike to complete his 50.

The manner of Worcestershire's early collapse was a surprise to those who expected a used pitch to be low and slow.

Instead there was pace and unreliable bounce as Hoggard and Gurney roughed up Worcestershire's strokemakers.

Vikram Solanki edged a near-unplayable lifter from Gurney and Hoggard, after being shovelled over fine leg for six by Alexei Kervezee, claimed the wickets of Moeen Ali, caught at mid-on, and Shakib, cutting to backward point.

In between those dismissals Gurney removed Kervezee with a well-judged catch by Claude Henderson at fine leg, while Josh Cobb ran out James Cameron from mid-off after a mix-up with Shakib.