Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Stricken Cosgrove falls short as Lancashire sneak last-ball win

Lancashire 173 for 5 (Buttler 57, Vilas 32, Livingstone 30) beat Leicestershire 169 for 3 (Cosgrove 77*) by four runs

Lancashire ended a run of four defeats and improved their chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals of this year's NatWest T20 Blast with a last ball victory over Leicestershire at the Fischer County Ground.

Mark Cosgrove, batting with a runner throughout most of his innings, needed to hit Ryan McLaren's last ball for four to claim a tie, anmd for six to win the match, but failed to score, finishing on 77 not out, leaving Leicestershire's bright start to the season a distant memory.

Having lost their first five wickets for just 25 against Northamptonshire the previous evening, the visitors can only have been reasonably satisfied to end their opening Powerplay on 47 for 0, after being put in by Leicestershire captain Clint McKay.

The more so because openers Liam Livingstone and Karl Brown struggled to find their timing on a pitch that looked a little two-paced, and it was no surprise when Brown lofted the gentle medium pace of Cameron Delport high to Tom Wells at long on, before Livingstone, looking increasingly frustrated, top-edged the same bowler to short third man, where a back-pedalling Callum Parkinson took a good catch.

Jos Buttler and Dane Vilas initially found the going equally hard, but they were helped by Leicestershire's bowlers producing a series of wides - the final total of 11 was the most bowled by any side in domestic T20 this season - and no-balls to keep the score building. The 50 partnership was raised off 32 balls, and had gone on to 74 when Vilas, on 33, cut a short, wide delivery from McKay high to Matt Pillans on the point boundary.

Buttler went to his half-century, his third in the competition this season, off 34 balls before being caught behind trying to carve a wide delivery from Pillans to the cover boundary, but the England international had given his bowlers a total that looked defendable.

Leicestershire openers Luke Ronchi and Cameron Delport gave their side their usual brisk start, but as has regularly been the case this season, neither was able to go on and make a match-winning contribution, Ronchi hitting 21 off 10 balls before pulling Junaid Khan straight to Jordan Clark at midwicket, and Delport bowled slogging at Steven Croft's off-spin for 17 off 8 balls.

Colin Ackermann was bowled in similar fashion giving leg-spinner Matt Parkinson the charge, and Cosgrove's innings had barely begun when he was hit on the knee by Aadil Ali's on-drive at Livingstone. After several minutes of treatment he resumed, albeit with a runner, and almost on one leg kept his side in the game by reaching his 50 off 41 balls.

He and Ali brought up the 50 partnership off 44 balls, but Lancashire's bowlers had the discipline Leicestershire's lacked, conceding only a handful of extras, and the 14 the Foxes need off the last over proved too big an ask.

Leics 2nd innings Partnerships

1st35L RonchiCS Delport
2nd6MJ CosgroveCS Delport
3rd39MJ CosgroveCN Ackermann
4th89MJ CosgroveAM Ali