Leicestershire crash to seventh home defeat
Warwickshire 137 for 7 beat Leicestershire 129 for 6 by eight runs
Leicestershire crashed to their seventh home defeat after losing by eight runs to Warwickshire in the final Friends Provident t20 North Group match at Grace Road. Having restricted the Bears to 137 for 7 with a fine bowling and fielding performance, the Foxes were unable to match that with their batting, failing to chase down what looked a comfortable victory target and closing on 129 for 6.
Former Foxes player Darren Maddy top scored for the Bears with a blistering 41 off 29 balls, hitting three sixes, while Chris Woakes and Keith Barker each claimed two wickets to help clinch victory.
On a slow pitch, the home side were never up with the rate needed after the early loss of opener Jacques Du Toit, who was trapped lbw by Woakes. Brad Hodge tried in vain to keep the chase afloat, cracking four boundaries in a belligerent 22 before becoming Woakes' second victim with the total on 31.
The innings then crawled along with no boundary for 10 overs. That finally arrived when James Taylor produced a reverse sweep for a four off the bowling of Stef Piolet. Taylor went on to top score with 29, but by then it was all too little too late for the Foxes, with the asking rate having climbed to more than 11 an over.
Barker ended their slim hopes of reaching the target by taking two wickets in an over, dismissing first Taylor and then clean bowling Wayne White. Despite Claude Henderson hitting Barker for the only six of the innings, the Foxes were still left needing 17 off the last over, and Neil Carter bowled well enough to ensure that did not happen.
In the field the Foxes fared much better, with Hodge taking the early wicket of England batsman Jonathan Trott who was trapped lbw, and the big-hitting Carter bowled by Matthew Hoggard for 21.
But Barker, Jim Troughton and then Maddy kept the scoreboard moving, with the latter in impressive form. After a slow start, he found his timing despite the slowness of the surface, smashing superb sixes off Henderson, James Benning and Nadeem Malik.
A brisk innings from Woakes took the Bears to 137 and although the total hardly seemed enough, it proved more than adequate as the Foxes once again disappointed in front of their home fans.
The only point gained they gained at home in the competition was because of a no-result for a washed-out game against Durham. Away from home the Foxes won six out of eight. As it turned out, even had they won for the first time at Grace Road, it would not have been enough, with Northamptonshire clinching a quarter-final place with a victory at Durham.