Taylor sews up home quarter
Leicestershire snatched a dramatic victory against Derbyshire at Grace Road to clinch a home tie in the quarter-finals of the Friends Life t20.
Chasing a target of 151, the Foxes scored 89 from the final 10 overs to win by two wickets with one ball to spare.
James Taylor led the way with 53, turning the game the hosts’ way with three sixes in four balls.
Derbyshire had looked favourites for victory when left-arm spinner Chesney Hughes took career-best figures of 4-23 in four overs, as Leicestershire slumped to 91 for six with only five overs to go.
But Taylor pulled Steffan Jones over midwicket and cleared the ropes twice more in the next over, bowled by Mark Turner. Turner's over brought the Foxes 19 runs, leaving them to score 18 off the final two overs for victory.
Taylor was caught at long-on off Jones, ending his 31-ball innings, but Jacques du Toit saw his side home by hitting 22 off 15 balls, including three boundaries.
Leicestershire’s fifth win in a row in the competition confirmed at least second place in the North Group.
Home skipper Andrew McDonald put Derbyshire in and they were bowled out for 150 in 19.4 overs thanks to some accurate bowling and sharp fielding.
Abdul Razzaq, Harry Gurney and Jigar Naik claimed three wickets each as the Derbyshire batsmen struggled to gain any momentum.
Greg Smith top-scored for them with 36 off 35 balls before being brilliantly caught and bowled by McDonald.
The Falcons then lost their last five wickets for 12 runs in the last three overs of their innings, with Razzaq's overs costing 12, Naik's 27 and Gurney's 34.
Leicestershire made a brisk start, reaching 37 in five overs before McDonald had a rare failure in the competition and chipped a catch to midwicket off Jones for 15.
His departure seemed to rock the home side's confidence as wickets fell steadily before Taylor's brilliant innings swung the momentum back Leicestershire’s way ahead of an exciting finish.