Foxes off to a flier
Niall O'Brien and Josh Cobb hit centuries as Leicestershire Foxes launched their Yorkshire Bank 40 campaign in style with a resounding victory over Gloucestershire Gladiators at Grace Road.
Cobb smashed 107 and O'Brien 104 in an opening partnership of 193 that was the cornerstone of the Foxes’ total of 289.
It proved too much for the Gladiators, who never recovered from a nightmare start to their innings and were dismissed for 174 to lose by 115 runs, Cobb following up his heroics with the bat by taking 3-34.
Cobb, Leicestershire’s one-day captain, and O'Brien, on his limited-overs debut for the county, delivered an electrifying display after Gloucestershire opted to field.
They raced to a fifty partnership off 35 balls with O'Brien hitting five boundaries and Cobb four.
Cobb was first to his half-century off 47 balls having hit a huge six off David Payne. O'Brien soon followed, reaching the milestone off 44 deliveries, and both batsmen then put their foot on the accelerator.
They pierced the field at will with O'Brien offering the only chance when he was dropped in the deep off Benny Howell on 86. He reached his century from 79 balls with a six and 12 fours before holing out to long-off in the 27th over.
Cobb went to his century off 89 balls with eight fours and three sixes. But he too perished going for another big hit, skying a catch off Ed Young.
Wickets fell at regular intervals thereafter with only Matt Boyce, who hit 28, offering much resistance as the Foxes lost their last eight wickets for 74 runs in 10 overs with Payne taking 3-45.
The Gladiators made a disastrous start to the chase, slumping to 44 for five in 10 overs with both Michael Klinger and Chris Dent run out by some sharp fielding from the Foxes.
Cobb then came on to bowl his off-spin and capped a man-of-the-match performance by taking the wickets of Ian Cockbain, Gareth Roderick and Will Gidman to finish with figures of 3-34.
Robbie Williams also claimed 3-34 as the Foxes won the game with 35 balls remaining.