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Foxes edge out Vikings

Ned Eckersley struck a maiden one-day century as Leicestershire Foxes beat Yorkshire Vikings by three wickets with one ball to spare in the Yorkshire Bank 40 clash at Grace Road.

Eckersley made 108 off 102 balls to lead the run-chase, after the Foxes were set 229 for victory having restricted the Vikings to 228 for seven.

But in a close finish Rob Taylor hit a straight six off Iain Wardlaw's penultimate delivery to clinch the Foxes' fifth win in the competition and keep alive their hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

It was a fourth-wicket partnership of 103 between Eckersley and Matt Boyce however, that turned the match the Foxes' way after Niall O'Brien and Greg Smith were both out in the first five overs with only 21 on the board.

But Josh Cobb hit a blistering 45 off 35 balls with nine fours, before driving Azeem Rafiq to Liam Plunkett at mid-off. That dismissal looked to have given the Vikings the edge but Eckersley and Boyce regained the initiative.

Eckersley reached a fifty off 62 balls and then really stepped up the pace hitting two sixes and a four off one over from Rafiq. Boyce played a more subdued role in the stand and finally fell for 37 off 50 balls when he was bowled by Wardlaw.

Shiv Thakor was caught behind, but Eckersley then cut loose in the batting power play that brought the Foxes 40 runs.

He hit a straight six off Moin Ashraf and reached his century off 98 balls with 10 fours and three sixes.

He was finally out for 108 in the 38th over with the Foxes needing 12 to win. They made hard work of it until Taylor struck the winning six with one ball to go.

Gary Ballance top-scored for the Vikings with 56 off 60 balls and Adam Lyth made 36, before they lost their way in mid-innings when three wickets fell for eight runs in three overs.

But 83 runs came off the last 10 overs and Rafiq struck two sixes and a four off Cobb before being bowled, as the late-order batsmen at least enabled the Vikings to post a competitive total.

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