Cricket: Knight back in form

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The Independent Online
WARWICKSHIRE maintained an unbeaten record in defence of their AXA League title by beating Leicestershire in a rain-interrupted match at Edgbaston.

Brian Lara's side avenged last week's Benson and Hedges Cup defeat at Grace Road by making 163 for 5 and dismissing the visitors for 151 with 10 balls to spare. The official margin of victory was 20 runs because Leicestershire were set a higher target of 172 when the Duckworth-Lewis method took into account the loss of four overs in Warwickshire's innings.

The difference was so small that Leicestershire could hardly complain that it influenced their plunge to 86 for 5 on a slow pitch. A belated bid to chase 80 from the last 10 overs resulted in two run-outs. Chris Lewis was stranded by David Hemp's throw from cover and Paul Nixon's spirited 44 from 33 balls was ended with a brilliant underarm effort from Dominic Ostler at backward point.

Warwickshire's innings, reduced to 36 overs, contained only seven boundaries as out-of-form batsmen struggled to make progress. The highlight was Nick Knight's highest score of the season. After scoring 295 runs for England in five one-day internationals in the West Indies, the left-hander had managed only 169 in 10 innings for his county before today. However, he regained his touch with 40 in 26 overs against a battery of seamers.

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