Recent Match Report – Leicestershire vs Lancashire North Group 2020

Leicestershire 150 for 9 (Bailey 5-17) v Lancashire – No result

Rain forced the match to be abandoned with the points shared after Lancashire had restricted Leicestershire to 150-9 in the North Group Vitality Blast match at Grace Road.

It was particularly frustrating for the visitors, who played some fine out-cricket after captain Dane Vilas won the toss and put the Foxes in.

Vilas himself led the way with a hat-trick of catches, including a brilliant one-handed effort leaping backwards to dismiss Leicestershire danger man Arron Lilley, and a diving two-handed take after a sprint along along the boundary from long-off to end Ben Mike’s innings and secure Lightning seamer Tom Bailey his best T20 return of 5-17.

Lancashire had arrived at Grace Road with confidence taken from the manner in which they beat Durham by a comfortable 27 runs on Thursday. Understandably, they made no changes to the side which started at the Emirates Riverside, 22-year-old left-arm spinner Tom Hartley retaining his place, while Leicestershire gave T20 county debuts to Tom Taylor, George Rhodes and Ireland international Gareth Delany, signed at short notice last week after it was confirmed South African batsman Janneman Malan would be unable to travel due to pandemic restrictions.

Delany, opening the innings, did not last long, losing his off stump to Bailey in the second over, but Lilley hit both Hartley and Liam Hurt for straight sixes in going to 26 before Vilas’ athletic leap as he tried to chip a Danny Lamb full-toss over mid-on brought his downfall.

It set a pattern for the innings. In the 12th over Bailey took an equally brilliant catch, one-handed low to his left at extra cover, to catch Rhodes off Hurt, and wickets continued to fall as Leicestershire tried to pick up the scoring rate, though Mike hit Lamb for consecutive sixes in the penultimate over.

The rain had already begun to fall, however, and after 90 minutes umpires Nick Cook and Rob White decided there was no prospect of play resuming.

“I’ve not played white ball cricket in three years, and I didn’t think I was going to play this year either, so it’s nice to have an opportunity and I’ve taken it with both hands,” Bailey said. “We’re such a strong white ball side it’s always going to be tough to get in and I’ve had to wait in the wings.

“We were good in the field in our first game but we fielded so well today as a group. My catch was an absolute worldie – I’ll never take one like that again. It was the highlight of my day, better than taking five wickets. And for a 35-year-old [Vilas] to throw himself around the field like that, it’s great to see.”

Leicestershire captain Colin Ackermann said: “You want to get on a roll in this format, especially when there’s only ten games, so to lose the first two to the weather is frustrating. Saying that, I thought we were about 15 runs short. They were exceptional in the field and took four outstanding catches and saved 20 runs.

“It’s our first chance to bat in the comp, we’ll learn from that display and come back strong against Durham at Headingley on Monday.”

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