The Foxes crash out
The Somerset Sabres produced a thrilling comeback at The Brit Oval to send holders the Leicestershire Foxes crashing out of the Twenty20 Cup.
Somerset produced a thrilling comeback at The Oval to send holders Leicestershire crashing out of the Twenty20 Cup.
Defending a total of just 157 for nine, Ian Blackwell took three vital wickets to send the Foxes into freefall in their semi-final clash.
Dinesh Mongia's three-wicket haul plus 56 from Darren Maddy looked to have put HD Ackerman's side in control before the turnaround, with Graeme Smith's side eventually winning by four runs.
Superb fielding pegged back the Sabres when they threatened to cut loose after winning the toss. Smith in particular was unfortunate, dismissed by a diving David Masters catch at mid-on when most expected a boundary.
The Foxes' fielding was backed up by a fine performance from Mongia, who finished with three for 30 from his four overs of slow left arm, including an athletic return catch at full stretch to dismiss James Hildreth.
Matthew Wood top-scored with 38 but was dismissed by a bizarre run-out when Charl Willoughby appeared to be injured but recovered sufficiently as the opener went for his second run.
Much was expected of Blackwell's batting but a Jeremy Snape delivery crept through his defences and he departed for a single, the first of two wickets for the Foxes off-spinner.
England opener Marcus Trescothick - batting at three in the order for his county - chipped in with 25 off 19 but did not look fluent as his side struggled.
Maddy and Ackerman started at a fairly pedestrian pace but the Foxes looked confident after a big fourth over when Maddy hit four boundaries as he took the score to 36 without loss.
Maddy, 31, then cruised to his half-century in 27 balls, with the holders comfortable until skipper Ackerman was stumped off Blackwell with the score on 74.
Blackwell then took two wickets in an over to give his side hope, the first being Mongia caught in the deep. Maddy was then stumped by Carl Gazzard, and the wicketkeeper ran out Snape to have the holders four wickets down for 98.
Richard Johnson had Jim Allenby caught in the deep for 17, and Leicestershire looked rocked when John Maunders was caught off Wes Durston.
Johnson took two wickets in two balls - getting rid of Ottis Gibson and Claude Henderson - and the holders finished on 153 for eight.