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June 1, 2014
Warwickshire 175 for 9 (Porterfield 67, Buck 3-37) beat Leicestershire 150 for 6 (Wells 51) by 25 runs
Will Porterfield, brimming with confidence after his first Championship century for Warwickshire last week, made an energetic half-century as Warwickshire proved too classy for Leicestershire and won their first match in the NatWest T20.
Porterfield endured a miserable 2013 but has enjoyed a strong first two months to this season with two half-centuries in his first two matches before the century against Somerset - the first since arriving in Birmingham in 2011.
Here, in only his second T20 innings of the season after a washout on the second Friday of the competition, Porterfield was composed and confident and lead his side to a total Leicestershire were never in the hunt to chase.
He struck the first of his five boundaries with a flick to leg in the third over of the innings, added another in same region behind square next ball before a top-edged a pull sailed for six over the keeper's head.
With timing difficult on a slightly slow wicket, Porterfield knocked the bowling around intelligently and ran hard - plenty of extra runs were pinched around the large Grace Road outfield.
Porterfield and Varun Chopra, who played several sweet off-drives before walking across his stumps and being bowled by Rob Taylor, added 49 in 34 balls for the opening wicket and then began the impetus in the second-half of the innings that saw six of the last nine overs go for double figures.
He cut the first ball of Taylor's second spell for four before giving himself room and slapping a flat six down the ground. His fifty came up in 39 balls, after which he reverse swept Josh Cobb with perfect timing behind point but trying another miscued it off the toe to extra-cover.
Porterfield's was the first of three wickets to fall in seven balls but despite a tumble of wickets, Warwickshire kept the runs flowing as Ateeq Javid made 27 in just 12 balls. He guided a high-full toss past short third man and pulled over square leg as 16 came from the 18th over and in the 20th, a short ball from Ireland was cut for four more and leg-side heave also found the rope; 14 from the final set finished the innings strongly.
It was an above par total and benefitted from some slippery Leicestershire fielding. Their captain Josh Cobb was critical of his side's out-cricket in their first two matches and here again they were a mixed bag. There were slips in the outfield, including Tom Wells' misjudgement at deep midwicket that allowed Porterfield to bring up his half-century with a boundary.
Warwickshire used different tactics to their hosts in the field. Leicestershire had generally tried to take pace off the ball on a wicket that has been under undercover for much of the week. But Chopra brought out four fast bowlers who had Leciestershire, shorn of Scott Styris who failed a fitness test on a sore calf, quickly behind the chase.
The extra pace of Chris' Wright and Woakes forced two miscued pulls that removed both Leicestershire openers in the first three overs and a third wicket went down in the Powerplay, which yielded only 30 runs, when Boyd Rankin darted one into the middle and off stumps of Greg Smith.
There was rhythm and confidence from Rankin. He hit the pitch hard and conceded only 18 from his first three overs, as Leicestershire reached only 60 at the half-way stage, before Tom Wells blasted his final set for 17.
Wells' hitting was the only positive in a weak Leicestershire performance. He swung merrily and struck four lusty sixes, including one into the upper tier of the pavilion, for a half-century in just 28 balls - his first for Leicestershire in just his fifth game - that provided some late entertainment in a game that was dead for a long period of the second innings.
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