Leicestershire edge thriller
Leicestershire 219 for 7 beat Nottinghamshire 215 for 9 by 4 runs
A valiant 71 not out from Australian Adam Voges was not enough to prevent Nottinghamshire Outlaws from slipping to their third Clydesdale Bank 40 defeat to dampen their hopes of reaching the semi-finals. In a nail-biting finish, Voges could only drive the last ball from Josh Cobb weakly to mid-on for none as Leicestershire sealed a four-run win at Trent Bridge.
Voges received little support from his Nottinghamshire team-mates, with captain Chris Read (32) the only man to offer more than a cameo, while Leicestershire captain Matthew Hoggard led the visitors' bowling attack in picking up 3 for 43. Matthew Boyce's 60 and 58 from James Taylor had helped Leicestershire to reach 219 for 7 from their 40 overs, with England Under-19 seamer Jacob Ball picking up 3 for 32 in his first appearance of the season.
After Luke Fletcher had made the early breakthrough with James Benning caught at cover, Ball picked up two wickets in his second over, with Jacques du Toit playing on and Cobb bowled by a beautiful off-cutter. And the Notts Academy graduate's day got even better in his following over when Greg Smith chased a wide delivery to edge behind to wicketkeeper Read.
But a partnership of 114 in 21 overs between Boyce and Taylor recovered the situation as the pair worked the field and scampered singles, hitting only seven boundaries between them. The batting powerplay yielded 45 of those runs and also saw Boyce dismissed lbw by Samit Patel, while an unbeaten cameo 33 from Tom New, featuring four fours and a six, provided a timely boost at the death, with Taylor yorked by Ryan Sidebottom and Jigar Naik run out.
Voges only arrived from Australia at 7.00pm yesterday but seemed free of jet-lag when he arrived at the crease in the 15th over, after Alex Hales, Akhil Patel and Matt Wood had all fallen. And while Samit Patel also returned to the pavilion two overs later, clipping a full toss from James Benning to a diving Naik at midwicket, Voges found the gaps with nudged singles in accompaniment with Read to keep Notts in sight of the required run-rate.
Benning's medium-pace proved particularly hard to get away, and with Notts forced to up the pace in the last 10 overs, wickets began to fall. Read pulled Hoggard to deep square leg and Steven Mullaney edged behind in the former England star's next over to expose the tail.
Despite Voges' best efforts, his bowlers were unable to contribute with the bat, Graeme White bowled by Naik, Fletcher lbw to Hoggard and Ball stumped off Cobb in the final over. Notts will now need to win both their remaining group matches - concluded by a trip to Edgbaston next weekend - to overtake Warwickshire and claim a semi-final spot.