Katich ends t20 Lancashire stint in style
Lancashire 180 for 4 beat Leicestershire 176 for 6 by six wickets
Simon Katich signed off his Friends Provident t20 campaign in spectacular style with a match-winning innings for Lancashire Lightning against Leicestershire Foxes in their North Group clash at Grace Road. The Australian left-hander smashed a blistering 41 off 19 balls, hitting eight boundaries, as Lancashire chased down a victory target of 177 to win by six wickets with three balls to spare.
The Foxes had posted a challenging 176 for 6 - their best score of the season - with Jacques Du Toit and James Taylor both making half-centuries. But Lancashire were always up with the required rate and Katich finished things off with a boundary blitz that sent the Foxes crashing to their fourth defeat in a row at home.
It is Katich's final game for Lancashire in the competition. After playing for them this weekend in the County Championship game against Yorkshire he joins up with the Australian squad for the forthcoming Test series against Pakistan.
Lancashire were given the perfect start to their chase by openers Stephen Moore and Tom Smith who put on 44 in the first five overs. Moore stuck three sixes in his 26 off 15 balls and Smith hit three fours and a six as he made 32 off 25 balls.
Steven Croft continued the Lancashire charge with a quickfire 42 off 36 balls and also included a six before being brilliantly caught behind by Paul Nixon off the bowling of James Benning. But it was only left-arm spinner Claude Henderson who caused any real trouble to the visitors claiming two wickets in two balls to give Foxes some hope of a victory.
But Katich and Paul Horton snatched that away from them in a fifth-wicket stand, with Katich hitting six boundaries off the first 10 balls he faced. He smashed two more in the final over to send his side to victory with three balls remaining. Horton made 30 off 21 deliveries.
The Leicestershire innings was dominated by Du Toit and Taylor, who shared a third-wicket stand of 92 in 11 overs. Du Toit made 69 off 50 balls, hitting three sixes and five sixes and Taylor was once again impressive in a knock of 61 off just 37 balls with three sixes and four fours. But it was not enough to end the Foxes' nightmare run of form at home.