Cricket: Lefebvre makes his mark with bat and ball

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The Independent Online
Glamorgan 228-7; Leicestershire 220-7

Glamorgan win by 8 runs

GLAMORGAN yesterday moved a step closer to the trophy their fine season deserves by inflicting an eight-run defeat on Leicestershire in the AXA Equity and Law League. The Welsh county can now boast 10 wins off the reel in the Sunday competition, and with four matches left head the table by two points, leap-frogging Kent, who sat out yesterday's round.

Pole positon was not regained in comfort, however. Leicestershire, chasing 229, looked out of contention for much of the way, but a partnership of 70 in 10 overs between James Whitaker and Ben Smith both transformed a pedestrian performance by the home side and gave Glamorgan a nasty dose of the jitters.

It may be that the psychological damage done by their NatWest disaster in Sussex last week will stay with Glamorgan for some while. Having let a winning position slip away with a Lord's final in their sights, perhaps they sensed that they were capable of letting another chance go astray. Whatever their thoughts, a combination of sloppy fielding and untidy bowling allowed Leicestershire, who had begun the last 12 overs still needing 95, to run them nail-bitingly close. Indeed, at the end of the 49th over, while still needing 18, they had drawn level with Glamorgan's position at the corresponding stage.

Whitaker, captain for the rest of the season with Nigel Briers injured, hit a gallant 115 before falling to a blinding catch by his Glamorgan counterpart, Hugh Morris, in the final over.

Matthew Maynard and Adrian Dale provided the central thrust of Glamorgan's total after Whitaker put them in, adding 86 in 17 overs for the third wicket. Maynard, delightfully willing to improvise, raced to a half century in only 47 balls before the introduction of Justin Benson's slow medium pace unsettled him enough to give a catch to wide long-on as he attempted to repeat the six he had clubbed off the young seamer, Jonathan Dakin, moments earlier.

Just as significant for Glamorgan was the role of their Dutch seamer, Roland Lefebvre, who thrashed 17 off the last over before giving away a miserly eight runs in his first eight overs of controlled medium pace.

Lefebvre also held three boundary catches, including the important wicket of Smith in the 45th over, but Maynard's dropping of Whitaker at 17 and at 33, two chances of run-outs squandered and a missed stumping by Colin Metson off Dale when Smith was on 14, almost proved costly.

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