Foxes still in the hunt
Leicestershire remain on course for a quarter-final place in the Friends Life t20 thanks to a comfortable six-wicket win over struggling Northamptonshire at Grace Road.
Australian all-rounder Andrew McDonald once again played a starring role for the Foxes, taking three wickets and following it up with an unbeaten 38 to steer them to their 131-run victory target with 13 balls to spare.
It was Leicestershire’s seventh win in the competition this season and their third home victory in a row. With three matches left, they stay second in the North Group, two points behind Nottinghamshire.
McDonald, acting captain in the absence of the injured Matthew Hoggard, lost the toss but was delighted to see his attack restrict the Steelbacks to a below-par 130 for nine.
The visitors made a sluggish start, with only eight runs coming off the first three overs, but accelerated to score 36 off the next three before losing Rob White with the total on 46.
White was bowled off an inside edge by McDonald, and from that point on it was all downhill for Northants.
The impressive McDonald also removed Bilal Shafayat for 28 and Niall O'Brien for 23 as the Northans innings ground to a halt.
Left-arm spinner Claude Henderson conceded only 22 runs in four overs, as well as taking the wicket of Alex Wakely, while left-arm seamer Harry Gurney continued his impressive form in the competition.
He ensured there would be no lower-order revival with the wickets of Johan Botha, James Middlebrook and Jack Brooks in his final two overs to finish with 3-25 and take his tally for the competition to 21.
McDonald claimed 3-26 before Leicestershire were able to cruise to their target.
Despite losing Josh Cobb in the first over and Jacques Du Toit in the second, McDonald and Will Jefferson pulled things round with a stand of 63 in six overs.
Jefferson was in blistering form, smashing two fours and five sixes in a sparkling knock of 41 off 21 balls that was ended when he was caught at short fine-leg off Botha.
But McDonald’s run-a-ball innings, and James Taylor, with an unbeaten 21, saw Leicestershire home.