Leicestershire v Lancashire, Flt20 North Group, Grace Rd July 23, 2013

McClenaghan earns dramatic tie

Lancashire 139 for 9 (Cross 28, Taylor 4-23) tied with Leicestershire 139 for 9 (Smith 45)
Scorecard

New Zealand fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan hit a last ball boundary to give Lancashire a dramatic tie with Leicestershire at Grace Road.

Chasing a victory target of 140, Lancashire needed 13 to win off the final over bowled by left arm spinner Shakib Al Hassan. Eight runs came off the first four balls but Shakib had Gareth Cross caught off the penultimate delivery, leaving five runs off one ball.

McClenagahan faced his first ball needing to hit a six for victory or a four to tie and he obliged by clipping the ball to the deep backward square leg boundary as Lancashire finished on 139 for 9, exactly the same score as the Foxes.

It was Lanashire's second tie in the competition this season and leaves them in second place behind Nottinghamshire in the North Group. The result means Leicestershire must now win their last three games to have even the slightest chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

Put in to bat the hosts made a woeful start to their innings, scoring only eight runs in the first three overs for the loss of Josh Cobb, brilliantly caught by Ashwell Prince off Glen Chapple. But Greg Smith and Joe Burns added 40 for the second wicket before Burns was caught and bowled by Kabir Ali.

After that it was a case of the Foxes battling to post a competitive total on a slow paced pitch. Smith top scored with 45 off 42 balls and Shakib hit a quick-fire 23 off 16 balls with four boundaries.

But the crucial knock came from Rob Taylor who smashed three sixes - two of them off McClenaghan - in a 15-ball innings that gave the Foxes something to defend. McClenaghan took 2 for 29 and Kabir 3 for 23.

Lancashire looked on course for their fifth win when they were 48 for 1 at the end of the power-play. But some tight bowling from Taylor, who finished with a competition best of 4 for 23, Shakib (1 for 22) and Shiv Thakor (1 for 31), saw Lancashire lose their way.

Wickets fell in clusters and in the end Cross was the top scorer with 28 until he was ninth out in the last over caught in the deep by Taylor off Shakib. But McClenaghan kept Lancashire in sight of a place in the quarter-finals with his last ball boundary.

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