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May 12, 2012
Leicestershire 38 for 2 dec and 289 for 9 (Sarwan 94, Daggett 4-76) drew with Northamptonshire 352 for 7 (Coetzer 120) and 26 for 0 dec
Leicestershire held out for a draw in a tense finish to their Division Two match against Northamptonshire. Having been set a victory target of 341 in 86 overs, the home side finished on 289 for 9, with last-wicket pair Wayne White and Matthew Hoggard surviving the last 9.2 overs to deny Northants their second win of the season.
At one stage Leicestershire looked the more likely winners, with Ramnaresh Sarwan hitting 94 and Josh Cobb 59, to leave them needing 101 runs off 20 overs. But they then lost five wickets for 28 runs in 10 overs before White and Hoggard salvaged the draw.
It was a fine effort from Northants who were reduced to a four-man bowling attack because of an injury to Chaminda Vaas that kept him off the field for the final day. Lee Daggett took 4 for 76 and David Willey 2 for 70 but, despite claiming the second new ball with six overs remaining, Northants were unable to claim the wicket they needed for victory.
Two enterprising declarations set up the prospect of a positive result from the rain-affected game. Leicestershire declared on their overnight 38 for 2 and Northants responded by scoring 26 without loss. Leicestershire did not make the best of starts to their chase, slipping to 64 for 3 as Willey and Daggett gave Northants the initiative.
But Sarwan and Cobb joined forces in an exhilarating fourth-wicket stand of 103 in 21 overs that gave Leicestershire a sniff of a possible victory.
Sarwan was in majestic form with some glorious drives on the off side and wristy strokes through midwicket. He reached 50 off 65 balls with seven fours and looked set to complete his second century of the season as he cruised into the nineties. But he was finally dismissed lbw trying to sweep offspinner James Middlebrook having hit 94 off 120 balls.
Cobb's half-century came off 62 balls with a six and seven fours but his innings ended when he was bowled offering no shot to a ball from Daggett. Ned Eckersley made a determined 35 but in the end it was White and Hoggard that came to Leicestershire's rescue.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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