Chapple back to form in fifth win
Lancashire 220 for 4 (Prince 85) beat Leicestershire 218 for 8 (Chapple 4-46) by six wickets
Lancashire eased to their fifth win in seven games beating Leicestershire by six wickets in the Clydesdale Bank 40 Group A clash at Grace Road. Stephen Moore, Ashwell Prince and Steven Croft all hit half centuries as Lancashire cruised to their victory target of 219 with 4.2 overs to spare.
The win puts them two points behind leaders Middlesex, with three games in hand. The Foxes could only post a disappointing 218 for 8 despite a brilliant unbeaten 83 from 18-year-old Shiv Thakor, while Lancashire's veteran seamer, Glen Chapple, claimed 4 for 46 - his best return for six years in the 40-over game.
An opening stand of 108 in 17 overs between Moore and Prince gave Lancashire the perfect start, with Moore dominating the early stages of the innings scoring 36 of the 48 runs that came off the first power play. He reached 50 off 46 balls - his fifth in seven games - but was then caught at cover off medium pacer Michael Thornely for 60. Prince reached his half century off 62 balls with two fours plus a six off Thakor, but holed out to mid-wicket having hit 85 off 89 balls.
Two wickets in successive balls from Taylor brought a brief halt to Lancashire's progress but Croft saw them home with an unbeaten 57 off 58 balls.
Thakor, who has just taken his A-levels, was the star turn of Leicestershire's innings in his first game in the competition this season, after the Foxes had plunged to 68 for 4 in 16 overs. Will Jones was out lbw to Tom Smith in the opening over, Greg Smith was bowled by Chapple for 20 and the prized wicket of the in-form Ramnaresh Sarwan was taken by Ajmal Shahzad.
Sarwan, who has hit two centuries in the CB40 this season, looked in good touch again, until he was caught at cover off a leading edge for 20, and when Michael Thornley chopped a Shahzad delivery back into his stumps, Lancashire were in total control. But Matt Boyce and Thakor, dragged Leicestershire back into the game. Despite a lack of boundaries they shared a 50 stand in 10 overs and Boyce reached his own half century off 60 balls with two fours. Thakor's 50 soon followed and came off 60 balls with three fours.
But the stand was broken when Boyce was stumped as he lost balance trying to reverse sweep Gary Keedy. The partnership off 96 contained 66 singles - 33 to each player. With Boyce's departure, Thakor began to attack, square cutting Chapple to the boundary and then pulling him for six. But Chapple took the last three wickets with the impressive Thakor unbeaten on 83 off 74 balls as the Foxes scored 42 runs off the last four overs.