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Patel, Currie form Leicestershire roadblock with Gloucestershire eyeing victory

Home side made to follow on despite hundred from opener, career-best from nightwatcher

Rishi Patel helped put on a fifty opening stand, Derbyshire vs Leicestershire, County Championship, Division Two, Derby, April 19, 2024

Rishi Patel made his first century of the season  •  Getty Images

Leicestershire 371 (Patel 117, Currie 72, Taylor 3-62) and 24 for 0 trail Gloucestershire 706 for 6 dec (Bancroft 160, Charlesworth 126, van Buuren 103, Bracey 92) by 311 runs
Opener Rishi Patel, with his first century of the season, and nightwatcher Scott Currie, led the fightback as Leicestershire's batters fought to save the game on the third day of the Vitality County Championship match against Gloucestershire at the UptonSteel County Ground, Grace Road.
The two batted throughout the morning without being parted, and although Patel was bowled shortly after lunch, Currie remained unbeaten in the afternoon session, reaching a maiden first-class half century.
Currie was finally dismissed shortly after tea, one of four wickets to fall as Gloucestershire maintained their hopes of enforcing victory on the final day. But they will need all ten wickets in Leicestershire's second innings as Patel, in company with Marcus Harris, saw the home side through to the close without being parted after the visitors enforced the follow on.
Patel demonstrated a determination to be positive from the off after Leicestershire resumed on 133 for 5 on a cloudless morning in the East Midlands. Having made a painstaking 51 from 136 deliveries the previous evening, the 25-year-old played a series of glorious straight drives in adding 24 to his score from the first 16 balls he faced before settling back into his innings - at least until he was on 86, whereupon he hit the legspin of Ed Middleton for four, four and six off consecutive deliveries, the century coming off 203 deliveries and including 13 fours and two maximums.
Only once had there been a real rush of blood, a mighty swing and miss against Middleton. Bracey took off the bails and appealed, but Patel's back foot had - just - remained in his crease.
At the other end, Currie was unmoveable, the only time he looked at all likely to get out coming when he twice tried to cut Middleton through the off side, missing on both occasions. Solid and impressively determined defence saw him go to lunch unbeaten on 19, made from 119 deliveries.
Having delayed taking the new ball for a couple of overs after the break, Gloucestershire had almost immediate joy when they did so, Matt Taylor producing a peach of a delivery to remove Patel's off stump.
That was the only moment of celebration in the session for the visitors, however, as Ben Cox picked up where Patel had left off, scoring at a run a ball, while Currie did nothing different, defending his wicket against all-comers and just occasionally unfurling a classy attacking shot. Having passed his previous first class best of 44, he went to his 50 off 182 balls, having hit five fours, and continued to play in exactly the same exemplary manner until tea.
Gloucestershire needed a quick breakthrough after the interval and it came first ball, Cox leg before to Middleton after missing a sweep. Currie too was given leg before on the back foot to Taylor soon afterwards, and Ben Mike missed a slog at an Ollie Price delivery which turned a touch and hit off stump. Price only needed two more deliveries to dismiss last man Josh Hull, leg before on the back foot.

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County Championship Division Two