New shines between the showers
Leicestershire 257 and 227 for 5 v Kent 219
Tom New hit an unbeaten 51 on a rain-affected third day to put Leicestershire in a strong position against Kent in the County Championship Division Two match at Grace Road. Although only 22.4 overs were possible wicketkeeper New struck 50 off 61 balls with seven boundaries to steer Leicestershire to 227 for 5 and a lead of 265 before play was called off for the day.
New was ably supported by 17-year-old Shiv Thakor on his Championship debut. Thakor, an England Under-19 international, gave an assured performance as he contributed 24 off 81 balls to an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 79.
Persistent light rain throughout the morning delayed the start until 2pm with Leicestershire resuming at 148 for 5 leading by 186 runs. The sixth-wicket pair made good progress with New timing the ball well and as he struck two glorious cover drives to the boundary off Adam Ball and Azhar Mahmood.
With the seamers getting little out of the pitch offspinner James Tredwell was brought into the attack but he too failed to trouble the batsman with New and Thakor posting a half-century partnership in 16 overs. But their progress was halted by another rain shower with the scoreboard reading 201 for 5. A further seven overs were lost and an early tea was taken with play resuming at 4pm.
New was soon back into his stride with another excellent cover drive off Wahab Riaz taking him to a splendid fifty. The rain returned again with Leicestershire on 227 for 5 and after further inspections by umpires Peter Hartley and Trevor Jesty play was called off for the day shortly after 5.30pm.
Leicestershire will now look to score some quick runs on the final day to set Kent a run chase and bid for their first Championship win since beating Glamorgan in the opening match of the season.