Glamorgan lost their last six wickets for just 10 runs as Leicestershire pulled off an incredible victory in their Division Two Specsavers County Championship match at the Fischer County Ground.
Resuming on 11-1 and needing 181 to win, the visitors were wobbling when they lost two early wickets. Left-arm seamer Dieter Klein was the man responsible, swinging the ball at pace to take the edge of Jacques Rudolph’s bat before knocking Owen Morgan’s middle stump out of the ground to leave Glamorgan on 36-3.
It should have been four, but the Foxes dropped Will Bragg off his first ball, delivered by Klein and edged by Bragg between wicket-keeper Ned Eckersley and first slip Paul Horton. Horton got his fingers to the ball, but couldn’t hang on, and it proved an expensive miss as Bragg and Aneurin Donald added 53 for the fourth wicket.
Donald, who began his innings needing to score 40 to reach 1,000 championship runs for the season, was on 23 when he pushed tentatively at a Charlie Shreck out-swinger and edged to second slip, but Bragg continued to make Leicestershire pay, going on to a half-century as Glamorgan lunched just 45 runs short of what would be their fourth Championship win of the season.
Absolutely extraordinary end to the season, a fitting way to say thanks and farewell to @andrewmcdonald4 - good luck in your new challenge— Leicestershire CCC (@leicsccc) September 22, 2016
Few could have predicted what would happen next. Clint McKay, charging in from the Bennett End seamed consecutive deliveries back in to win leg before decisions against Kiran Carlson and then – perhaps a touch fortunately – Craig Meschede.
In the following over, Mark Wallace pushed forward to Shreck and edged to Eckersley and Timm Van Der Gugten, deep in his crease, survived only one delivery before being pinned leg before by the veteran Cornishman.
Michael Hogan drove airily and edged McKay behind the wicket, and then a despairing and desperate Bragg, who had been watching in disbelief at the other end, lofted Shreck high towards the cover boundary where Harry Dearden, making his home debut, held the calmest of catches to seal the most unlikeliest of wins.
Leicestershire captain Mark Cosgrove: “It was a weird game. To be bowled out for 96, and to fight back in the way we did, despite not really being at our best, was remarkable – and a big credit to our bowlers, who kept steaming in and got us the win.
“Dieter Klein opened them up in the morning, but at lunch I knew we only had one last crack and the first few overs would be key, but for Clint [McKay] and Charlie [Shreck] to do what they did was incredible.
“We’ve played some pretty good cricket this year, and while the last month hasn’t been great, to finish with a win confirms it’s been a good year. We’ve come a long way in the last few years."