Leicestershire reign at Edgbaston
Leicestershire were confirmed as runners-up in the Friends Life t20 North Group as their five-wicket victory put a dampener on the opening of Warwickshire’s £32million pavilion at Edgbaston.
The Bears’ least successful campaign in Twenty20 cricket stuttered to a miserable conclusion as the new permanent floodlights, being used for the first time, lit up Leicestershire's 10th victory in 16 games.
A crowd of around 10,000 saw Warwickshire post a total of 166 for eight but half of the fans had gone home when Leicestershire were set a reduced target of 133 in 15 overs following a downpour between innings.
Josh Cobb got Leicestershire up and running with a rapid 28 before he was caught behind off Chris Woakes and it was far from a terminal setback when Will Jefferson and Abdul Razzaq departed in the next over from Jeetan Patel.
James Taylor, a centurion at Edgbaston in an early-season Clydesdale Bank 40 meeting, joined Andrew McDonald in a superbly-paced partnership of 90 in nine overs.
Taylor top-edged Keith Barker to backward square-leg after making 49 and McDonald, having gone past 500 runs in this season’s competition, was brilliantly caught at long-off by Rikki Clarke for 40 in the last over from Chris Woakes.
With five still wanted, Wayne White kept his nerve and pulled a six over midwicket to win the match with a ball to spare.
The home side had made a flying start when Varun Chopra and Neil Carter, who made 24 and 20 respectively, took 30 from two overs by Razzaq and Cobb.
The onslaught, which included seven fours and a six from the first 20 balls, was checked when both got themselves out attempting to sweep left-arm spinner Claude Henderson.
However, this was only brief respite for Leicestershire before the left-handed pair of Jim Troughton and Will Porterfield stepped up the tempo again in a stand of 71 from only 46 deliveries.
The blitz peaked with 21 runs in an over off Jigar Naik before Leicestershire found a way of stemming the tide.
The canny Henderson completed his stint with 3-25 as McDonald held a swirling chance from Porterfield, who made 37, in the third-man area and the Australian was the bowler when Troughton holed out at long-off after hitting five fours and a six in his 32-ball 46.
White, the most economical of the seamers, removed Clarke, and McDonald held two more catches as Razzaq made up for his early mauling by taking three wickets in his last two overs.