The Leicestershire Foxes, faced with a no-more-than-par score of 160-5 by the Bears, got off to a flier thanks to 44 off just 23 balls from skipper Mark Cosgrove. Thereafter, they paced their innings perfectly. Niall O’Brien and Umar Akmal finished things off with an unbroken stand of 93 in 11.4 overs to see the Foxes home with more than an over to spare.
It was a lukewarm performance from the Bears’ bowlers. Jeetan Patel was an honourable exception, taking 1-22 off his four overs, but it looked as though the Foxes took the tactical decision to concentrate on getting their runs at the other end.
All of the Bears’ quicker bowlers went for around ten an over and were collectively unimpressive. Recordo Gordon was particularly disappointing with a plethora of full tosses.
The home side’s total of 160-5 looked and felt like hard work. No-one timed the ball consistently on a pitch that, though true enough, was not as pacy as some recent Edgbaston tracks. The Bears owed much to Tim Ambrose who batted sensibly, punishing the bad balls as well as profiting from one or two lucky edges. His unbeaten 66 came off 54 balls and contained seven fours and one glorious square cut for six off Tom Wells.
William Porterfield supported Ambrose well with 40 off 27 balls but no-one else looked at ease. Varun Chopra is struggling for form and Laurie Evans can’t buy a decent score. Brendan McCullum can’t arrive soon enough for the Bears.
The Foxes’ bowling was steady throughout, with Ollie Freckingham, on his T20 debut, and Ben Raine at one stage achieving eight dot balls in nine deliveries. Jamie Sykes took 1-22 off his four overs of left-arm spin.
Although Mark Cosgrove’s Jonty Rhodes impression was not entirely convincing, overall the Foxes’ fielding gave little away. Tom Wells tooktwo good catches.
This result throws the Northern Group wide open, with all to play for in the remaining matches.