White holds nerve in narrow win

Leicestershire 295 (Smith 77, Thakor 73, Fuller 4-51) and 237 for 8 (Cobb 65, Eckersley 63) beat Gloucestershire 234 and 296 (W Gidman 72, Housego 62, White 4-49) by two wickets

Leicestershire ended the season on a high, beating Gloucestershire by two wickets in a dramatic finish to the Division Two game at Grace Road.

Chasing a victory target of 236, Leicestershire were coasting at 205 for 3 but then lost five wickets for 13 runs as Gloucestershire fought back. But Wayne White held his nerve to hit the winning boundary off Will Gidman while Josh Cobb hit a blistering 65 off 51 balls and Ned Eckersley made 63.

It was Leicestershire's third win of the season and the 21 points lifted them to seventh in the table, with Gloucestershire replacing them at the bottom of the pile.

The game looked evenly poised at the start of play with Gloucestershire on 254 for 9, leading by 193 runs. Leicestershire's target was to end the innings as quickly as possible, but it took them 70 minutes and 19 overs as Jonathan Batty and Liam Norwell shared a defiant last-wicket stand of 42.

It was finally broken by Matthew Hoggard, who bowled Norwell with the second new ball to leave Batty on 40 not out on his final day in first-class cricket having announced his retirement from the game. With Gloucestershire all out for 296, Leicestershire had a victory target of 236 in 75 overs and they tackled it in positive fashion.

Openers Greg Smith and Michael Thornely put on 45, with Smith smacking three boundaries in one over off Norwell. He had been dropped on 4 by Batty off Will Gidman, but there was no escape in the 14th over when he chipped an easy catch to square leg to give Norwell his revenge.

Thornely looked in good touch as well, but having made a confident 36 he was bowled as he attempted an expansive drive at a delivery from James Fuller. Matt Boyce brought up his side's hundred with a sweep to the boundary off Jack Taylor but was then trapped lbw by the young offspinner by a ball that kept low.

His departure brought in Cobb and the newcomer unleashed a barrage of boundaries, including a massive six over square leg off Norwell, as he raced to 50 off 33 balls. With Eckersley also striking the ball well and reaching his 50 off 81 balls with nine fours, the fourth-wicket pair put on 99 in 17 overs to put Leicestershire in sight of victory.

But when Cobb was out lbw to Gidman for 65 a collapse began, with five wickets falling in 10 overs as the home side slipped to 218 for eight. Gloucestershire were back in with a chance of winning but White struck three boundaries in an unbeaten 14 to see Leicestershire home.

White was then awarded his county cap at the end of the match, after a season in which he scored 616 Championship runs and took 43 wickets.

Leics 4th innings Partnerships

1st45MA ThornelyGP Smith
2nd36MA ThornelyEJH Eckersley
3rd25MAG BoyceEJH Eckersley
4th99EJH EckersleyJJ Cobb
5th11EJH EckersleySJ Thakor
6th1JKH NaikEJH Eckersley
7th0WA WhiteEJH Eckersley
8th1CW HendersonWA White
9th19WA WhiteNL Buck
  • White holds nerve in narrow win

    Leicestershire ended the season on a high, beating Gloucestershire by two wickets in a dramatic finish to the Division Two game at Grace Road

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  • Spinners put Leicestershire on top

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