Jaques given Royal send-off
Phil Jaques signed off in style with an unbeaten half-century as Worcestershire Royals moved off the bottom of the Friends Provident t20 North Group with a six-wicket win against Leicestershire Foxes at New Road.
In his last appearance for the county, the Australian made 78 from 48 balls and put on 94 with Vikram Solanki - who hit 51 - as the home side raced home with an over to spare.
A whirlwind 44 from Paul Nixon enabled Leicestershire to post a commanding total of 171 for four, but it proved in vein as Worcestershire recovered from losing Sanath Jayasuriya and Moeen Ali in the first six overs.
Solanki was first to light the fuse with two leg-side sixes off Leicestershire’s hard-pressed attack, before Jaques introduced a subtle touch by reverse sweeping boundaries off the spinners.
The target was down to 32 from 20 balls when Solanki moved across his wicket and saw his leg stump flattened by Matthew Hoggard but, in the same over, Jaques restored momentum by hoisting the Leicestershire captain for six.
Another maximum off Nathan Buck settled the issue as Jaques closed his boundary account with five fours and three sixes in his highest score in this season’s competition.
Earlier, Leicestershire were given a strong start as Brad Hodge followed fellow Australian David Hussey to become the second player to reach 3,000 runs in t20 cricket.
The 35-year-old opener dominated the first half of he innings against a steady Worcestershire attack. James Taylor featured in the biggest partnership of 51 before he was caught on the mid-wicket boundary.
Hodge eventually accumulated six fours and a six from 38 balls and the Foxes could have toppled off course when he was run out for 70.
It was then that Nixon wrestled the initiative from the home side when, in a systematic display of hitting, mostly on the leg side, the veteran smashed seven fours and a six in taking 38 runs from the last 10 balls he received.
The last two overs, bowled by Gareth Andrew and Jayasuriya, cost Worcestershire 39 runs but Jaques made sure it was not decisive.