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Snape hat-trick in Foxes triumph

Leicestershire began the defence of their Twenty20 title with a 13-run victory over Yorkshire.

In a match reduced to 16 overs per side by rain, the Foxes opted to bat and Jim Allenby pulled over a hospitality tent for six in his 43 in a total of 154-5.

Craig White pulled Stuart Broad for six in the opening over of the Yorkshire reply before holing out to long-on.

David Masters pegged back the Tykes and Wily skipper Jeremy Snape then claimed the eighth hat-trick of the tournament.

Yorkshire were glad the match was delayed, as half their team did not arrive at Grace Road until after 1700 because of congestion on the M1.

White's quickfire 31 left Yorkshire needing 98 from 66 balls, but Masters found clever movement and variations of pace, and trapped Anthony McGrath first ball.

When top-scorer Gerard Brophy became the fourth wicket to fall, bowled by a quicker one from Claude Henderson for 44, 63 were needed from 30.

Snape clung on to a low return catch for his hat-trick, but Chris Gilbert smashed two fours and two sixes in five balls to leave 34 from the final 12 balls.

Darren Gough launched Broad for six with the first of them and the next appeared to be slicing over third man but John Maunders took a neat catch at head height.

Broad then took his second wicket when he uprooted Gilbert's off-stump.

Masters, the former Kent bowler, was pleased with his team's winning start to the event. "Our thoughts were to take the pace off the ball in the middle and we did it very well," the rangy seamer commented.

"This is our competition and hopefully we can keep on winning."

Yorkshire skipper Darren Gough had mixed feelings about his introduction to Twenty20 captaincy: "It wasn't very easy, a bit rushed," he said. "It's great to see lots of kids here and you also get the football supporters which is sometimes nice and sometimes not so nice!"

Counterpart Jeremy Snape revealed he was undecided whether to bowl before striking with his second, third and fourth deliveries.

"I was thinking should I bring myself on or hide myself I was fortunate to get a couple caught on the boundary," he said modestly.

Leicestershire will now lose Broad who will be on international duty with England and Snape admitted: "It's a big loss but we've got a framework that we think works and we hope to fit the individuals into that."

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