Naik spins Leicestershire to victory
Jigar Naik gave Leicestershire a flying start to the new LV= County Championship season as his five-wicket haul helped to complete a dominant 89-run victory over Glamorgan at Grace Road.
The Leicester-born off-spinner claimed Glamorgan's last four wickets for 16 runs in 7.1 overs to finish with 5-36 as the visitors, chasing a target of 338, were bowled out for 248 with only Ben Wright offering any real resistance.
Wright top-scored with 65 off 102 balls before becoming one of Naik's victims as the Glamorgan innings folded, giving the hosts 20 points to the visitors' three.
However, until Naik was brought on shortly after lunch, Glamorgan still looked to be in with a chance of victory.
They started the day at 112 for three, still needing 226 to win, but, at the lunch interval, required 139 with four wickets still standing.
They were also encouraged by a stubborn seventh-wicket partnership between Wright and Robert Croft that checked Leicestershire's progress.
With the stand having produced 55 runs in 17 overs, Croft was out for 22 when he chipped a well-flighted delivery from Naik to Matthew Boyce at midwicket. Glamorgan's chances of winning disappeared with his departure.
Wright, who had batted with real purpose and authority to reach a half-century off 82 balls with six boundaries, fell in Naik's next over.
Trying to sweep another cleverly flighted ball from the off-spinner, he top-edged and was caught on the square-leg boundary.
In typical fashion, Graham Wagg chanced his arm with some expansive shots, but was then bowled by a quicker ball from Naik as he backed away to the leg side looking to force the ball through the covers.
Naik then wrapped up the victory by having Dean Cosker caught by James Taylor at short leg.
It proved good timing as well as rain began to fall 20 minutes after the victory had been secured.
Naik, who had claimed the wicket of Will Bragg overnight, had a splendid all-round match, having scored a vital 67 in Leicestershire's second innings.
The home side had dominated the morning session, picking up three more wickets.
Michael Powell was lbw to Nadeem Malik, nightwatchman Huw Waters fell lbw to Claude Henderson, and Mark Wallace was brilliantly caught on the boundary by Naik off Matthew Hoggard.