Leics halt Gloucs promotion push

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Claude Henderson

Claude Henderson took two important wickets today to aid his side's victory

Leicestershire ended Gloucestershire’s slim promotion hopes, sending the visitors spinning to an emphatic 329-run defeat at Grace Road by claiming the five wickets they needed for victory in 46 overs for the addition of 80 runs.

Spinners Claude Henderson and Jigar Naik shared four wickets and 19-year-old seamer Nathan Buck sealed the win by having last man Anthony Ireland caught at slip 40 minutes before tea.

Buck finished with 3-25 to give him match figures of 6-72. It was Leicestershire's sixth win of the season and the 21 points they claimed to Gloucestershire's three lifted them above their opponents to fourth in Division Two.

Gloucestershire, who resumed the final day on 78 for five - 410 behind - were all out for 158, the only resistance coming from James Franklin and Ed Young, who shared a stubborn seventh-wicket stand of 63 spread across 28 overs.

But when 38-year-old left-arm spinner Henderson had Franklin caught off bat and pad by Matthew Boyce for 31 it signalled the end for Gloucestershire, with their last four wickets falling for just seven runs.

The biggest worry for Leicestershire was the unsettled weather. Early-morning rain delayed the start by 45 minutes and another shower sent the players off again after an hour's play for an early lunch.

There was a further brief interruption at the start of the afternoon session before Leicestershire clinched the victory they thoroughly deserved.

The home side had the perfect start to the final day when Alex Gidman, having added only one to his overnight 28, played on trying to cut Henderson.

But that proved to be Leicestershire's last success for some time as Franklin and Young showed plenty of determination and application.

Franklin's departure triggered the collapse, though, with Jon Lewis lbw to Naik and Young bowled by a superbly flighted delivery from the same bowler.

When Buck had Ireland well held by Greg Smith, Leicestershire had claimed the victory that always looked on the cards.

Henderson finished with 3-62 in 34 overs and Naik 3-35 off 25.

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