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July 3, 2011
Leicestershire 131 for 4 beat Northamptonshire 130 for 9 by six wickets
Leicestershire Foxes remain on course for a quarter-final place in the Friends Life t20 thanks to a comfortable six-wicket win over struggling Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Grace Road.
Australian all-rounder Andrew McDonald once again played a starring role for the Foxes, taking three wickets and then following it up with an unbeaten 38 to steer his side to their 131-run victory target with 13 balls to spare.
It was the Foxes' seventh win in the competition this season and their third home victory in a row. With three matches left, they stay second in the North Group table, two points behind Nottinghamshire Outlaws.
McDonald, acting captain in the absence of the injured Matthew Hoggard, lost the toss but was then delighted to see the Foxes' attack restrict the Steelbacks to a below-par total of 130 for nine.
The visitors made a sluggish start, with only eight runs coming off the first three overs, but accelerated to score 36 off the next three before losing opener Rob White in the seventh over with the total on 46.
White was bowled off an inside edge by McDonald, and from that point on it was all downhill for the Steelbacks. The impressive McDonald also removed Bilal Shafayat for 28 and Niall O'Brien for 23 as the Northamptonshire innings ground to a halt.
Left-arm spinner Claude Henderson conceded only 22 runs in his four overs, taking the wicket of Alex Wakely, while left-arm seamer Harry Gurney continued his impressive form in the competition. He ensured there would be no late-order revival from the Steelbacks with the wickets of Johan Botha, James Middlebrook and Jack Brooks in his final two overs to finish with three for 25 and take his total wickets so far to 21 in the competition.
McDonald claimed 3 for 26 before the Foxes were able to cruise through to their target. Despite losing Josh Cobb in the first over and Jacques Du Toit in the second with only 10 on the board, McDonald and Will Jefferson pulled things round with a stand of 63 in six overs.
Jefferson was in blistering form, smashing two fours and five sixes in a sparkling knock of 41 off 21 balls before being caught at short fine leg off Botha. But McDonald, with 38 off as many balls, and James Taylor, with an unbeaten 21, saw the Foxes to victory.
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