Vaas and Boje secure Northamptonshire the points
Northamptonshire 166 for 4 beat Leicestershire 156 for 6
Chaminda Vaas hit a quickfire half-century and then took two vital wickets as Northamptonshire Steelbacks beat Leicestershire Foxes by 10 runs in their Friends Provident t20 clash at Grace Road. The visitors posted 166 for 4 after the game had been reduced to 18 overs because of rain, with Nicky Boje and Andrew Hall sharing a stand of 82 off 38 balls.
Despite a fine innings of 53 by Will Jefferson, the Foxes were unable to reach their target, and crashed to their third defeat in five games and their second at home. It was the Steelbacks' third win in a row after two early losses in the competition, and they owed much to the all-round ability of Vaas.
Promoted to open as a pinch-hitter, he responded with a half-century off 35 balls that included eight sweetly-struck boundaries which gave the Northamptonshire the perfect start. Then, after they became bogged down in the middle of their innings, Boje and Hall swung the game their way with some dramatic hitting in the later overs.
Boje made 54 off 30 balls, with nine fours and a six, and Hall gave him fine support, scoring 29 off 18 balls, hitting a six plus four other boundaries. It was a blistering response by the fifth-wicket pair after the Steelbacks had slipped to 84 for 4 in the 12th over. A total of 62 runs came off the last four overs, and it was to prove decisive to the result of the game.
For much of the time, the Foxes were well up with the rate, with Jefferson and James Taylor giving them real hope of their first win at home in the competition this season by sharing a partnership of 72 in nine overs for the third wicket. Taylor looked in fine form, making 38 with a six and four fours before pulling a full toss off the bowling of David Willey to square leg.
But the all-important wicket of Jefferson was claimed by Vaas, who trapped him leg before wicket as he tried to work the ball to leg, having made 53 off 35 balls, with the innings including seven fours.
The Foxes needed 16 off the final over for victory, but Hall made sure they got nowhere near it, conceding just five runs and taking the wicket of Wayne White with his final delivery to give Northants a win by 10 runs.