CRICKET; Foxes outrun by Hancock

Gloucestershire 216-6 Leicestershire 202-9 Gloucs win by 14 runs
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The Independent Online
GLOUCESTERSHIRE EASED their own fears of dropping into Division Two of the CGU National League and put Leicestershire Foxes in danger of relegation with a 14-run win at Grace Road yesterday.

It was the fourth successive defeat for the Foxes, and with one game left they are fourth from bottom and remain hopeful that Warwickshire do not win their final two games.

Tim Hancock and Kim Barnett laid the foundations for the Gladiators' victory with an opening stand of 114. Hancock made 72 off 80 balls with 11 fours before becoming first man out in the 25th over, caught behind by the wicketkeeper Paul Nixon off Tim Mason.

Tight bowling from the off-spinner Mason and medium-pacer Dominic Williamson, who took 3 for 28 in his nine overs and dismissed Barnett for 57, put the brake on the run-rate and in the end the Gladiators had to settle for a modest 216 for 6 rather than the 250 total that had looked likely. Even then they scored 44 off the last five overs.

A target of 217 on the slow-paced pitch looked a realistic prospect but they made a poor start, scoring only 18 runs in the first 10 overs for the loss of Darren Stevens. A half-century from Darren Maddy, who shared a second-wicket stand of 56 with Iain Sutcliffe, put them back on track and useful contributions followed from Williamson, Nixon and Kasprowicz.

But the Foxes were never up with the rate and required 74 off the last 10 overs for victory. They never looked like doing it against some accurate bowling from Ian Harvey, who took 3 for 30 in his nine overs as Gloucestershire eased home.

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