Leicestershire 118 for 2 (Lilley 68*, Welch 41*) beat Worcestershire 116 for 9 (Kashif 24, Mike 3-20, Naveen 3-22, Parkinson 3-28) by eight wickets
Leicestershire Foxes at last gave their supporters something to cheer as an eight-wicket win over bottom-of-the-table Worcestershire Rapids ended a run of four consecutive home defeats in the Vitality Blast North Group.
The night had begun with what Rapids fans hoped was a show of intent as Brett D’Oliveira slog-swept and cut Parkinson for six and four in the opening over but that was as good as it got in a dire batting show.
The left-arm spinner pushed one through to bowl the Rapids skipper next ball, before Naveen had Ed Pollock brilliantly caught at short third man off a thick edge with his first ball. Jack Haynes heaved Wiaan Mulder over midwicket for six but he holed out to mid-off, the third casualty of a powerplay that saw them 44 for 3.
Two more wickets for Parkinson, who bowled Colin Munro and had Ed Barnard stumped off a wide delivery, added to the visitors’ woes and when Gareth Roderick found the fielder at wide long-on the Rapids were 61 for 6 in the 11th.
Dwayne Bravo and Kashif stopped the procession of wickets, but while they added 40 for the seventh wicket it took them 38 balls – a snail’s pace in this format. Bravo clumped one six over midwicket off Rehan Ahmed but when he lofted Naveen over the long-off boundary the Afghan bowler gained revenge next ball with his 19th wicket of the campaign, finding the edge as the former West Indies captain drove.
Kashif fell victim to a fine, diving catch by Swindells behind the stumps off Mike, whose two overs at the death cost only eight runs and earned him a third wicket when Josh Baker chopped on.
Mitchell Stanley, a 21-year-old fast bowler making his debut, yorked Harry Swindells to claim a wicket with his first ball in senior cricket and Rishi Patel swung ambitiously at a ball from Pat Brown that bowled him as the Foxes lost two wickets in the first 14 balls of the powerplay.
But Welch – making his first appearance of the season as one of two changes in the Foxes’ line-up – and Lilley made short work of the target, reaching 49 without further loss in the powerplay before getting after a disheartened Rapids attack with a flurry of boundaries, Lilley lofting Bravo over the straight boundary, taking three fours in one over off Stanley, whose evening ended with Lilley cracking the winning boundary over extra cover.
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