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Lineker ton nets Unicorns win

Matt Lineker hit his second century in five days as the Unicorns ended their Yorkshire Bank 40 season on a high with a 42-run victory against Leicestershire Foxes at Grace Road.

The 28-year-old former Derbyshire batsman scored 132 off 106 balls to steer the Unicorns to 259 for five after they had been put into bat. It followed the 107 he made against Yorkshire Vikings on Tuesday.

Then a feeble batting performance by Leicestershire saw them bowled out for 217 in 39 overs, with seamer Garry Park claiming career best one-day figures of 4-39, giving Unicorns their only win of the campaign in their final game. The shock defeat ended the Foxes’ slim hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

It was a lacklustre effort from the home side with both bat and ball, and some loose bowling allowed Lineker and Tom Lancefield to post an opening partnership of 114 in 23 overs.

Lineker dominated the stand with some bold attacking shots, reaching his fifty off 44 balls with six fours plus a massive six off Michael Thornely. The century partnership was brought up with a cheeky reverse sweep by Lancefield.

Having contributed 38 to the stand, Lancefield was bowled by a quicker ball from Josh Cobb. Lineker, however, continued to punish the Foxes’ wayward attack and Park also chipped in with a six off Alex Wyatt. Another boundary by Lineker - his 14th - took him to his century off 86 balls.

Park, who shared a stand of 81 in 10 overs with Lineker, was bowled by Anthony Ireland for 31 and Vishal Tripathi was beaten by a yorker from Shiv Thakor for 10.

When Lineker finally holed out to long-leg off Thornely, he had hit 17 fours and two sixes.

The Unicorns scored 91 off the last 10 overs, helped by 39 runs coming off two overs from Ireland and Thakor.

Leicestershire made a good start to the chase with Cobb hitting a run-a-ball half-century in an opening stand of 89 with Niall O'Brien (44).

But when the two of them were out in the space of five overs the innings disintegrated. Only Ned Eckersley (25) and Tom Wells (25 not out) offered any resistance, with Park picking up the wickets of Eckersley, Matthew Boyce, Ireland and James Sykes to complete a memorable victory for the Unicorns.

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