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May 20, 2012
Middlesex 241 for 5 (Dexter 54*) beat Leicestershire 210 (Finn 3-30) by 31 runs
England fast bowler Steven Finn took three wickets in seven balls as Middlesex beat Leicestershire by 31 runs in the CB40 clash at Grace Road.
Finn's burst sent Leicestershire sliding to 49 for 5 as they chased a victory target of 242, and they were finally dismissed for 210 to give Middlesex their second win in three games.
Finn, left out of the England side for the first Test against the West Indies, finished with three for 30 in eight overs. He bowled Ramnaresh Sarwan, omitted from the West Indies Test party, for 19, had Matt Boyce out in the same over and then trapped Greg Smith lbw.
Ned Eckersley, who hit 46 off 44 balls and Wayne White (34) led a recovery with a stand of 66 in 12 overs, but it was not enough to prevent Leicestershire's third defeat in four games. White and Eckersley's partnership gave the home side some hope but once they had gone in the gathering gloom, it was all over despite an unbeaten 27 from Nadeem Malik.
Openers Joe Denly and Dawid Malan gave Middlesex a solid start with a stand of 56 in 12 overs and then Neil Dexter led the charge at the end with a quickfire 50 off 39 balls. All the top order batsmen made scores of 20 or better, but only Dexter went on to reach a half century.
Eoin Morgan, playing his first game since returning from the Indian Premier League, struggled for his timing on a slow-paced pitch and made 25 off 38 balls, before being brilliantly caught at cover by White off the bowling of Josh Cobb.
Joe Denly fell to an even more spectacular one-handed catch by wicketkeeper Eckersley off Rob Taylor, and the young left-arm seamer also had Malan lbw. But Dexter and Gareth Berg took the initiative with a fifth-wicket partnership of 70 in eight overs. Berg bludgeoned 43 off 31 balls, straight-driving a massive six off Claude Henderson and hitting four other boundaries.
Dexter's 50 contained seven fours, the batting power-play, taken in the 35th over, produced 48 runs and a further 20 runs came off the final two overs. Dexter finished on 54 not out and the challenging total of 241 proved to be enough.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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