North Group, Worcester, June 05, 2022, Vitality Blast
(19/20 ov, T:163) 136

Leics won by 26 runs


Five-star Naveen-ul-Haq keeps Foxes in the hunt

Seamer takes 5 for 11 as Worcestershire slip to fifth defeat in six games

ECB Reporters Network
Naveen-ul-Haq took 5 for 11  •  PA Images/Getty

Naveen-ul-Haq took 5 for 11  •  PA Images/Getty

Leicestershire 162 for 6 (Patel 37, Lilley 32) beat Worcestershire 136 (Naveen 5-11) by 26 runs
Leicestershire Foxes secured their third win in four games with the help of a superb spell of bowling from Naveen-ul-Haq in a 26-run triumph against Worcestershire Rapids at New Road.
The Afghanistan pace bowler returned career-best T20 figures of 5 for 10 from four overs as the Foxes comfortably defended a total of 162 for 6.
He claimed the prized wickets of Brett D'Oliveira and overseas duo Colin Munro and Dwayne Bravo before cleaning up the innings as the Rapids were dismissed for 136 in 19 overs.
All of the Foxes' wins have come on the road against Yorkshire, Birmingham Bears and now Worcestershire. But they were aided by some poor shot selection by Worcestershire's batters and the home side remain in bottom spot after a fifth defeat in six games.
Moeen Ali put the visitors into bat on the same hybrid wicket used against the Bears on Friday and for the Central Sparks-Western Storm game yesterday in the Charlotte Edwards Cup.
Leicestershire opener, Hamish Rutherford, a former Worcestershire player, was looking to improve on a record of 22 runs in his first five innings in the Blast this summer. Worcestershire bowled a tight line in the opening stages and Dillon Pennington was rewarded when Scott Steel, who had hit half centuries in his previous two innings, holed out to mid-off.
Rutherford did not strike a boundary until his 16th delivery but four fours in Pennington's third over lifted the powerplay total to 47 for 1. Arron Lilley scored freely and smashed Bravo over backward of square for the first six, but two wickets in two overs checked the Foxes' progress.
Lilley tried to work Ed Barnard to leg and was lbw and then Rutherford, having made 29 off 34 balls, missed a straight ball from Moeen. The England allrounder finished with excellent figures of 4-0-18-1.
Leicestershire T20 captain Colin Ackermann perished to a fine catch by Josh Baker running back from third man off Barnard, but 59 came off the last five overs thanks mainly to Rishi Patel's 37 from 25 balls before he holed out to cover off Bravo and then Rehan Ahmed was caught and bowled off a skier by Pat Brown.
D'Oliveira, fresh from his career-best 71 against the Bears, gave the Rapids a flying start with 25 off 13 balls with five boundaries before he was yorked by Naveen. Ed Pollock flicked a Ben Mike no-ball over backward square leg for six but on 19 picked out Callum Parkinson in a similar shot off Will Davis.
Munro, the Rapids' leading-scorer in the Blast this summer, was caught behind on one after aiming to cut Naveen. Moeen played one exquisite late cut for four off Parkinson and drilled Will Davis for six over long but then he went lbw to Ahmed's first delivery which kept low.
Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and Jack Haynes went lbw to Parkinson aiming across the line at 91 for 5. Parkinson struck again when Ben Cox picked out deep cover and Bravo was lbw to Naveen who cleaned up the innings by sending back Dillon Pennington and Barnard, who top-scored with 27.

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