Report: Warwickshire v Leicestershire, Royal London Cup
Warwickshire completed back-to-back Royal London Cup wins with a pulsating seven-run victory over Leicestershire at Edgbaston.
Chasing the Bears’ 303 for six, the Foxes were motoring at 216 for two in the 35th over but collapsed to 296 for nine with home captain Will Rhodes taking three for 49 and George Garrett three for 50.
Warwickshire were lifted over 300 by a maiden List A century from Matt Lamb (119 not out, 105 balls). After Rob Yates’s stylish 72 (72 balls), Lamb and Ethan Brookes (63, 65 balls) added a Bears List A sixth-wicket record stand of 153.
Foxes openers Patel (118, 107 balls) and Harry Swindells (69, 71 balls) then gave their side the perfect start with a stand of 159 in 25 overs but some careless shots, punished by careful catching, set in motion a costly collapse.
After choosing to bat, Warwickshire lost Ed Pollock, bowled by Dieter Klein, second ball. Yates and Rhodes then added 53 in eight overs before Arron Lilley hit Rhodes’s off-stump.
Yates batted beautifully and it was a surprise when, having just smote a straight six, he sought another in the next over, off Rehan Ahmed, and found Marcus Harris at long on.
When George Rhodes trapped Jake Bethell lbw, it was 121 for five, but Lamb batted with assurance and Brookes was immediately assertive. Their alliance reversed the momentum until a superb diving catch by Patel at extra cover removed Brookes.
Lamb posted a 94-ball hundred to become the third Bear, after Yates and Pollock, to score maiden List A tons in successive games.
It was a tall target for the Foxes but Patel and Swindells made swift inroads, scoring 100 in 15 overs. Each hit six fours on the way to 50, from 39 and 55 balls respectively, Patel also striking two sixes.
Swindells fell lbw when he missed a pull at Bethell and, though Harris was soon run out by Brookes, the Foxes looked well set but Patel’s departure, caught at deep mid-wicket by Lamb off Manraj Johal, triggered freefall.
Wicketkeeper Burgess took centre stage with catches to remove Lewis Hill, George Rhodes, Lilley and Louis Kimber and suddenly the Foxes’ last two wickets needed to find 38.
When Garrett bowled Klein, last pair Chris Wright and Ed Barnes needed 17 from nine balls. Fittingly, Rhodes closed the game out with a tight last over of a true captain’s spell of bowling.