Middlesex 191 (Robson 58, Scriven 3-33, Salisbury 3-41) were defeated by Leicestershire 173 for 5 (Handscomb 54*, Bamber 3-27) via DLS by a margin of 23 runs.
In a game that was hampered by rain at the Uptonsteel County Ground, Leicestershire Foxes secured their spot in the knockout rounds of the Metro Bank One-Day Cup with a 23-run victory over Middlesex.
Further rain forced the cancellation of a day-night match that had been reduced to 47 overs per side after a postponed start. After 40 overs of Leicestershire’s innings, the Foxes were 173 for 5 and chasing 192, 23 runs more than the Duckworth Lewis Stern calculation indicated they should have been at that point.
Australian international Peter Handscomb led them to victory with an undefeated 54 after opener Rishi Patel’s 44.
After opener Rishi Patel’s 44, Australian international Peter Handscomb guided them to victory with an unbeaten 54. He had an unbroken 51-run stand with Sam Evans to help them win their sixth game in a row overall.
Depending on the outcome, Leicestershire will be guaranteed a home quarterfinal if they place no lower than second in Group A. The only team that can prevent them from winning the title and advancing directly to a home semifinal is Hampshire, who has two games remaining to the Foxes’ one.
Leicestershire entered Middlesex, who were dismissed for 191 in 40.1 overs. No other Middlesex batsman scored more than 21 runs, while Sam Robson scored 58 and John Simpson scored 33. Middlesex lost their final six wickets for 55 runs, with Tom Scriven getting 3 for 33 and Matt Salisbury, making his List A debut for Leicestershire, taking 3 for 41.
Leicestershire will be assured of a home quarterfinal regardless of the result if they finish no lower than second in Group A. Hampshire, who has two games left to the Foxes’ one, is the only team that can keep them from winning the championship and moving on to a home semifinal.
Middlesex was put into bat against Leicestershire and was dismissed for 191 in 40.1 overs. Sam Robson scored 58 runs, John Simpson scored 33 runs, and no other Middlesex batsman scored more than 21 runs. With Tom Scriven taking three for 33 and Matt Salisbury claiming three for 41 for Leicestershire in his List A debut, Middlesex lost their final six wickets for 55 runs.
Before Salisbury struck in each of his first two overs, uprooting Stonemen’s middle stump before Jack Davies, driving, nicked behind, Wiaan Mulder straightened one sufficiently to overcome Cracknell’s defense. Just out of the first powerplay, Middlesex was 53 for 3.
When Ryan Higgins was caught at cover after lazily driving at a wide delivery from Josh Hull, they lost their fourth wicket. At 70 for 4 Middlesex needed Robson and Simpson to use their combined expertise to help them reach a score that their bowlers could handle.
However, after bringing the score up to 136 without losing any more wickets, Robson serving as a reliable anchor, and Simpson hitting some wonderful straight drives, the latter appeared to be caught in a moment of uncertainty when he was bowled by Scriven and a collapse ensued.
Before Salisbury, who was also beginning a fresh period, bowled Josh De Caires with a stunning delivery, Robson followed a ball angled across him by the returning Hull that found a small edge. Scriven then had.
Martin Andersson caught behind on a somewhat airy drive. Before Scriven terminated Ethan Bamber’s late cameo with his third wicket, Luke Hollman, who was forced to play at one that came back, handed Handscomb a fourth catch against the team he used to captain and Mulder a second wicket.
The Foxes quickly reached 68 for 1 in the first powerplay, with 39 of them going to Patel, who looked sharp right away. Patel then exposed the inexperience of 21-year-old Ishaan Kaushal with three fours in the rookie’s opening over, which also produced five wides, before punishing Ryan Higgins with a pick-up for six and a cover-driven four to end the powerplay on a bad note.
Sol Budinger, who had earlier in the week scored his first century, was the only victim. He lofted one soaring six off Higgins but was outmuscled and stranded in front by Bamber, whose five powerplay overs only cost 15 runs.
A couple of early boundaries from Handscomb put Leicestershire ahead of the game despite losing captain Lewis Hill cheaply to a cutback bowling from Bamber. However, their progress was halted by two wickets in the span of 19 balls.
Patel was immediately removed once Higgins was replaced. Unfortunately, he was caught out by a meek return catch. Mulder was out for three as a result of a wonderful one-handed catch by Robson at slip, which allowed Bamba to add a third wicket to an excellent stint.
Leicestershire were under pressure for the first time in the game, with 99 needed from 30 overs and four of their top five out. Prior to being caught and bowled by leg-spinner Luke Hollman off a leading edge, Louis Kimber’s 22 from 21 balls reduced the goal to 70 off 142 balls.
With Sam Evans making his first competitive debut of the season for the first team in lieu of Ackermann, Handscomb was left to shoulder the burden alone.
However, the Australian realized that the pair at the sixth wicket could play it safe and still win because only three runs were needed every over.
With seven overs remaining, the rain resumed as the players left the field with 36 needed off 11.1 overs. However, the interruption was brief enough to prevent any additional overs from being lost, and Handscomb quickly reached his half-century off 69 balls with a well-timed cut for four off Andersson.
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