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Starc contrast as Yorkshire edge Leicestershire
Mitchell Starc went from zero to hero as Yorkshire sneaked home against Leicestershire at Grace Road last night to go top of the Friends Life t20 North Division thanks to their fourth win from six.
With Leicestershire chasing 152, Australian Starc lost sight of a ball on the cover boundary that ultimately went for four in the penultimate over bowled by Moin Ashraf, leaving the hosts needing nine off the last.
It could have been extremely costly, but yet again the left-armer delivered a superb last over by taking two wickets to restrict them to 147-9 and secure a four-run success to leave his side with one foot in the quarter-finals.
South African David Miller top-scored with 37 off 35 balls and Rich Pyrah added 35 off 23 as the White Rose posted 151-9.
Yorkshire were put on the back foot by a double wicket maiden from Nathan Buck to reduce them from 34-1 to 35-3 in the fifth over. Buck trapped Joe Root lbw and had Phil Jaques caught at point for 20.
From then on, the visitors were happy to keep the board ticking over with ones and twos interspersed with boundaries here and there on a slow pitch.
Miller and Gary Ballance (17) shared a calm 39 for the fourth wicket in six and a half overs before Miller and Pyrah added 45 in five and a half for the fifth.
Pyrah then hit successive sixes over mid-wicket off Abdul Razzaq in the last over to help finish the innings well. Three wickets may have fallen, but 16 runs came off it.
Yorkshire actually lost four wickets for 16 runs from the last seven balls of the innings, but a total of 69 runs came off the last six overs.
Leicestershire then made a solid start to their reply by reaching 35-0 after five overs, but they shot themselves in the foot with two needless run-outs of openers Razzaq and Josh Cobb.
Razzaq was run out going for an overthrow to Starc at deep mid-wicket and Cobb was caught short by Pyrah’s throw from mid-wicket.
And when Greg Smith chipped a return to catch to Adil Rashid, the hosts were 60-3 in the ninth.
Rafiq had Matt Boyce caught behind off a bottom edge shortly afterwards to put the visitors in the ascendency, but Ramnaresh Sarwan (39) and Wayne White changed the momentum by taking 26 off two overs, leaving the score at 122-4 after 16.
But Yorkshire – whose next match is the Roses clash against Lancashire at Headingley tomorrow – just about held their nerve as Starc bowled White and Buck. There were a total of four run-outs in the innings.