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Levi boosts Northants last-eight push

Northamptonshire 115 for 1 (Levi 67*) beat Leicestershire 111 for 4 (Elliott 56) by nine wickets
Scorecard

Richard Levi's superb 67 in just 28 balls kept up Northamptonshire's push for the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals and effectively eliminated Leicestershire with a nine-wicket win at Wantage Road. Levi slammed his 21st T20 fifty as Northamptonshire gunned down a target of 112 in a 10-over contest with nine balls to spare and ensured Grant Elliott's own fine innings of 56 in 29 balls for Leicestershire was in a losing cause.

The first over of the chase went for just five but Levi and Josh Cobb began the launch by taking 22 and then 25 from the next two overs. Cobb struck five fours in the third before holing out to long-on. The wicket mattered not as Levi and Ben Duckett steered Northamptonshire home remarkably comfortably in a stand of 65 in 30 balls.

Levi was typically strong off his legs and took 20 off the fifth over as Leicestershire failed to find any way to contain the South African, who passed fifty in 19 balls. By the halfway stage the target was reduced to just 37 from 30 balls.

Clint McKay, Leicestershire's Australian overseas bowler, was surprisingly kept back until the seventh over but, by that stage, the damage was done and there was time for a Duckett scoop and two beautifully placed cover drives before Levi completed the chase with his ninth four.

It was a fine conclusion to an afternoon blighted by rain. An initial 19-over match from 2.45pm was revised by another shower and, when play did get underway at 4.50pm, Leicestershire posted what looked like a strong total of 111 for 4 thanks to Elliott.

His first boundaries came via thick inside-edges but he quickly found the pace of the wicket, stepping across his stumps to paddle sweep Steven Crook for four and lifted a similar, better timed, stroke for six as Olly Stone returned in the seventh over. A Crook full toss was also heaved over the leg side.

In the final over, he flicked two into the leg side to go to a half-century in just 26-balls before driving Azharullah for four over mid-off. His innings included four fours and three sixes.

He was ably supported by Ben Raine, who swept his first ball for six over midwicket and sent a bigger sweep over the same region in the sixth over. But he struck only one more boundary as his 19-ball knock featured some sharp running and he shared a stand of 76 in 39-balls with Elliott.

It was a fine rally having lost three wickets in the opening three overs. After a long rain delay, Leicestershire suffered a poor start with Aadil Ali bowled off an inside edge via his pad second ball and Ned Eckersley top-edging a pull to mid-off in the second over. When Mark Cosgrove fell two overs later Leicestershire looked in trouble and their eventual recovery was not enough to hold off Northamptonshire.

  • Levi boosts Northants last-eight push

    Richard Levi's superb 67 in just 28 balls kept up Northamptonshire's push for the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals and effectively eliminated Leicestershire with a nine-wicket win at Wantage Road