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Cobb ton in vain

Leicestershire CCC

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Josh Cobb's maiden one-day century failed to prevent Leicestershire from suffering a narrow Clydesdale Bank 40 defeat against Lancashire at Old Trafford.

The visitors came up five runs short despite the former England Under-19 opener anchoring their pursuit of 297 with a belligerent 137 in a Group A clash full of good batting but indifferent bowling and fielding.

Cobb hit eight fours and six sixes in 99 balls but fell to a superb catch from Lancashire captain Steven Croft as he ran back from point, leaving Leicestershire 223 for four at the end of the 31st over - still needing 74 to win.

Matthew Boyce chipped in with 64 as his side, who needed 13 off the last over, finished on 291 for seven.

On a good pitch, Lancashire put their LV= County Championship batting woes behind them to post 296 for three, the club's highest score in this form of the game.

Josh Cobb

Josh Cobb flayed eight fours and six sixes in his 99-delivery 137, but Leicestershire came up five short against Lancashire at Old Trafford

Croft top-scored with 82 off 71 balls, South Africa's Ashwell Prince added 79 off 73 and Stephen Moore a 53-delivery 74.

But the hosts should have been defending a score in excess of 300 after Prince and Moore put on 135 for the first wicket inside 17 overs.

Although the scoring rate was never slow, Lancashire could have put the game completely out of reach had they been a bit more clinical in the latter stages.

Leicestershire's Robbie Joseph and Claude Henderson both conceded more than nine runs per over.

Cobb had a hand in a magic moment in the field when he relayed a ball to Joseph from long-on to long-off as he was going over the rope, with the latter completing the dismissal of Prince off Henderson's bowling in the 28th.

He starred with the bat, too, after being handed a life on nought when Moore dropped a simple chance at first slip off Sajid Mahmood's first ball of the innings.

Mahmood had Jacques du Toit caught behind in the third over, but Cobb and Greg Smith built a platform with a second-wicket stand of 84 in 10 overs.

England Lions left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan, the game's best bowler with 3-44, then removed Smith and Ramnaresh Sarwan, caught at short cover and long-on respectively, to put the hosts on top at 113 for three in the 18th over.

But Cobb bossed a fourth-wicket stand of 110 inside 14 overs with Boyce, who was happy to accumulate at a run a ball.

Cobb hit sixes over midwicket, long-on and the bowler but Leicester were left with too much to do as he fell to Naqaash Tahir.

When Boyce was caught at deep midwicket by Croft off Mahmood in the 37th over, a task of 38 off 20 balls was just too stiff.

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